The Children's Alliance of NH, New England Dairy & Food Council (NEDFC), the School Nutrition Association (SNA) of New Hampshire and the NH Department of Education (NHDOE) launched the New Hampshire School Breakfast Challenge this morning (10/24) during a school assembly at North Hampton Elementary School. This event, coinciding with Food Day, kicked off a statewide challenge to all schools and School Administrative Units (SAUs) to increase school breakfast participation by 25% over the next two years. Special guests including New Hampshire Senator Nancy Stiles, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Representative Candice Stoiber, and Jermaine Wiggins. Wiggins, a former tight end for the New England Patriots and a representative of Fuel Up to Play 60, spoke to students about the importance of a daily school breakfast.
The New Hampshire School Breakfast challenge is a multifaceted project that includes resources, funding opportunities and awards to rally and support NH schools to improve school breakfast participation. The goal is to ensure all students begins their day with a healthy meal. The Challenge began with today's kickoff in October 2013, and aims to increase school breakfast participation 25% by the end of 2015.
New Hampshire ranks 50th nationwide in free and reduced price school breakfast participation rates, with only 38 students eating free and reduced price school breakfast out of every 100 students eating free and reduced price school lunch. Research shows that students who eat breakfast typically attend more days of school and arrive on time, demonstrate improved concentration and memory, and attain better grades and higher test scores.
"Expanding the use of school breakfast is one step toward creating a New Hampshire where every child has three nutritious meals a day," said Erika Argersinger, policy director of the Children's Alliance of New Hampshire. "The Children's Alliance is proud to partner with NEDFC, NHDOE and SNA of New Hampshire to rally schools to improve school breakfast participation in New Hampshire."
"New Hampshire dairy farmers are proud to support school breakfast programs, and the NH Breakfast Challenge is a great way to get kids excited about starting the day off right," said Cynthia Smith, dairy farmer of Great Bay Farm in Greenland, NH. "The future of the dairy industry as well as the health of today's children are critical and deserve our support."
"Breakfast should be consumed every single school day to maximize the many benefits of a healthy meal in the morning," said Becca Story, RD, nutrition specialist for New England Dairy & Food Council. "Hungry kids can't learn, and school breakfast is a simple way to help students get the most out of their school day."
The NH School Breakfast Web site, www.nhschoolbreakfast.org is the go-to place for New Hampshire schools to get involved with the challenge and access resources on creative approaches to serving school breakfast. Visit the NH School Breakfast Web site to learn more about the challenge.
About the Children's Alliance of New Hampshire
The Children's Alliance of New Hampshire is dedicated to improving the lives of all children by advocating for public initiatives that make a real difference. As the only independent multi-issue child advocacy organization in NH, we use comprehensive data to bring people together, raise questions, seek answers and make smart, long lasting changes for NH children. To learn more, please visit www.childrennh.org or call (603) 225-2264.
About the School Breakfast Challenge
The NH School Breakfast Challenge, launched October 24, 2013 by the NH School Breakfast Team, rallies all schools and SAUs to raise their breakfast participation rates by 25% from October 2013- October 2015. Schools will receive monetary awards and prices for reaching this goal. To learn more, please visit www.nhschoolbreakfast.org
About the School Breakfast Team
The NH School Breakfast Team includes the Children's Alliance of New Hampshire, New England Dairy & Food Council, the NH Department of Education and the School Nutrition Association of New Hampshire. To learn more, please visit http://nhschoolbreakfast.org/about