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What is West Virginia Feed to Achieve?

West Virginia Feed to Achieve is a progressive piece of legislation and is the first of its kind in the nation. The need for the bill was simple: every child needs nutritious meals in order to achieve his or her potential. Due to high rates of poverty in our state, meals provided at school are often the only nutritious meals many children receive daily. West Virginia Feed to Achieve not only requires that every child is given the opportunity to eat two nutritious meals per school day, it also has allowed the West Virginia Office of Child Nutrition to secure funding that will support community programs that feed children while school isn't in session. West Virginia Feed to Achieve fills in the gaps when kids are most at risk for going hungry: after school, weekends, during the summer months, holidays and snow days.

Inspiration Behind West Virginia Feed to Achieve

The inspiration for Feed to Achieve came to West Virginia Senator John Unger while visiting a third grade class at Berkeley Heights Elementary School in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Senator Unger began an interactive exercise with the students to explain how a bill becomes a law. He asked the students, "If you could change one thing in this school, what would it be?" He heard responses that he expected to hear from a group of third graders like "a longer recess" but the response that caught his attention was from a little boy who said "I'd like to have a second lunch".

When Senator Unger asked this young man why he would support having a second lunch he responded that if he had an extra lunch at school then it would mean that there would be food left at home so his brother and his parents could eat. After hearing such a startling response from such a young child, Senator Unger asked the rest of the class how many of them were in the same situation as the little boy. Hands went up all around the classroom and it was at that moment that the good Senator knew something more must be done to feed the children of West Virginia. Senator Unger then established a partnership with the West Virginia Office of Child Nutrition and the idea for Feed to Achieve came to life.