Thursday, September 23, 2021

'Md. Breakfast Challenge' feeds hungry kids


Red House Run Elementary School in Rosedale, Md., won the state’s first breakfast challenge, WBAL-TV (NBC affiliate) reports.

“It’s a really big thing: we need to get kids fed in the morning,” the station quoted celebrity chef Duff Goldman, from “Ace of Cakes,” as saying. He visited the school on April 20 to present them with the award. “So many kids are going to school without breakfast, and you can’t go to school and you can’t learn if you’ve got no gas in the tank.”

The challenge is part of the No Kid Hungry organization and developed in partnership with the Maryland State Department of Education and other groups. The goal of the contest was to have as many kids eat breakfast at their schools between November and January. The goal of the program is to have them continue eating healthy breakfasts for the rest of the year as well.

In many schools, even kids who are eligible to receive breakfast for free don’t participate in the program. The US government is also working to increase participation in the school breakfast program by expanding access to it, improving the quality of meals, and incorporating nutrition information into breakfast.

But in Baltimore City, Mr Goldman wrote, “only about 41 percent of kids who qualify for free breakfast get one.” That result could certainly be improved—and not just at public schools in Baltimore City.

No Kid Hungry says that more than 280,000 kids in Maryland are food-insecure, which means they don’t have access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life.

“So we want to make sure during the school year we use the vehicle of the school system to deliver meals to kids who need it,” said David Sloan from No Kid Hungry. Plus, “kids who eat breakfast do better in school, do better on test scores. There’s less absences from class. They’re better behaved, and they’re better adjusted.”

Writing in the Baltimore Sun, Mr Goldman said, “I opened my bakery, Charm City Cakes, back in 2002. I’ve watched Baltimore thrive in the years since, and I want our kids to thrive along with us. But I can’t build the next generation of cake artists, sales reps, graphic designers, and others who make my business run if our kids aren’t getting the fuel they need to succeed.”

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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