Grants now available to local school districts to increase access to breakfast, improve child nutrition
New resources through a Community Services Block Grant are available to help Missouri schools make breakfast an essential part of the school day, Gov. Nixon announced today. The Missouri Breakfast Challenge offers funding of up to $3,000 for qualified schools to help cover the costs of equipment like rolling carts, insulated bags and coolers, and kiosks.
Incentives will be awarded to the highest performing schools. Participating schools that see the highest increases in breakfast participation over the school year will be eligible for awards of up to $5,000 from the Midwest Dairy Council and Share Our Strength, a national non-profit organization whose primary mission is to end childhood hunger in America.
“Kids who eat school breakfast perform better on tests, are more alert, are better able to concentrate, are in class more often and are 20 percent more likely to graduate from high school,” said Gov. Nixon. “Missouri is proud to continue our work with No Kid Hungry to make breakfast more available to more students across the state.”
The Missouri Breakfast Challenge is a partnership between the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Feeding Missouri and the Midwest Dairy Council.
“Too many students from low-income families miss out on free or reduced-price school breakfast because it is served before they arrive, or they do not want to face the stigma of eating alone in the cafeteria,” said Jon Barry, Director of No Kid Hungry Missouri. “Breakfast after the bell makes sense, and can lead to better health and educational outcomes for kids.”
Applications for local school districts can be submitted through Sept. 30, 2016 at http://dss.mo.gov/NoKidHungryMO
This past April, Gov. Nixon announced No Kid Hungry Missouri, a partnership with national anti-hunger non-profit Share our Strength and a coalition of state agencies and community-based organizations. Currently, one in five children in Missouri struggle with hunger.
Initial funding for the No Kid Hungry Missouri campaign is available, in part, from a $500,000 federal Community Services Block Grant. These grants are designed to provide services and other programs that improve the living conditions of low-income individuals.
In addition to the Missouri Breakfast Challenge, the No Kid Hungry Missouri campaign will work with public and private sector partners to:
Increase access to meals during the summer months, when school is not in session. By enhancing outreach and identifying new sponsors for summer meals in underserved communities, No Kid Hungry Missouri will aim to increase the number of summer meals served to 6.6 million over the next three years.
Increase the number of schools offering after school snacks and meals. Last year, 647,279 snacks and meals were served at 350 sites. The goal is to ensure at least 30 percent of students who are eligible for free or reduced price lunch, also receive an after school snack or meal.
Ensure low-income children who qualify for federal benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are enrolled.
Ending childhood hunger was one of the Ferguson Commission’s Signature Calls to Action issued last year.