CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Gov. Jim Justice today proclaimed the week of March 6-10, 2017 as national school breakfast week in West Virginia. This year’s theme, “Take the School Breakfast Challenge,” encourages parents, students and school officials to start their morning with a healthy breakfast to provide an energizing start to the day.
During the ceremony, Justice, along with West Virginia Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Michael Martirano, West Virginia School Nutrition Association President, Chris Derico, Roberta Hodsdon with USDA and West Virginia student ambassador, Miranda Pate from Hurricane High School signed the school breakfast pledge, vowing to eat a healthy breakfast every day.
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for all of us, but especially for our kids,” said Governor Jim Justice. “It fuels their learning experience and ability to achieve. However, we are told that more than half of our school children don’t eat breakfast and that is a significant problem. Hungry children are more likely to have discipline problems, lower grades and are more likely to be tardy or absent. So making sure our kids eat a healthy breakfast is a top priority.”
The West Virginia Feed to Achieve Act, recently signed into law, emphasizes all Mountain State students have adequate time and availability for school breakfast. As a result, more than 2.9 million school breakfasts are served monthly to students at more than 700 schools and feeding sites throughout West Virginia.
The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) has ranked West Virginia first in the nation in school breakfast participation for three years in a row. West Virginia schools implement innovative breakfast strategies such as breakfast in the classroom and grab and go breakfast that allow every student to have easy access to a healthy meal to start their day.
“Children perform at their best when they receive proper nutrition," Martirano said. “The School Breakfast Program is an important tool for educators to ensure that students receive adequate nutrition to learn and thrive in the classroom without the distraction of hunger.”
Students who participate in school breakfast exhibit decreased behavioral and psychological problems and have lower rates of absence and tardiness. West Virginia receives up to $5 million per month in federal reimbursement statewide for breakfast participation.
About National School Breakfast Week
National School Breakfast Week was launched in 1989 to raise awareness of the availability of the School Breakfast Program to all children and to promote the links between eating a good breakfast, academic achievement and healthy lifestyles. The “Take the School Breakfast Challenge” is made possible by the nonprofit School Nutrition Association, Kellogg’s and Potatoes USA. To learn more, visit:
The proclamation can be found by visiting: http://static.k12.wv.us/tt/2017/School-Breakfast-Proclamation.pdf