More American Children Start Day with a Healthy Breakfast
Small grants enable big improvements in nutrition for at-risk youth; more funds announced

Chicago – Schools across America have cause to celebrate National School Breakfast Week (March 8-12) this year. Action for Healthy Kids reports that dozens of schools have increased the number of students that receive breakfast at school – in some cases by as much as 200% – thanks to small grants that have been used to make meaningful improvements to how the schools offer and promote school breakfast.

Research has shown that eating breakfast helps children concentrate better, improves their academic skills, and reduces their risk of becoming overweight or obese[i]. Yet millions of eligible children don’t take advantage of free or reduced-priced breakfast available at school. Nationally, only about half of children who receive free or reduced-price lunch take advantage of the School Breakfast Program

“Many schools are like mine – they can make great improvements with even a little extra financial help,” says Dave Endicott, principal of Ogilvie Elementary School in Minnesota. Ogilvie used a $1,500 grant from Action for Healthy Kids to purchase carts that allow staff to deliver breakfast to classrooms. Seventy-five percent of Ogilvie students now eat a nutritious breakfast during their classroom’s ‘morning meeting’ time before classes begin – a 90 percent increase over last year.

“Our county has the highest rate of unemployment and foreclosures in the state, and severe poverty is a real issue for our families. Providing students with breakfast at school is essential for them to get the nutrients they need to grow and learn – an invaluable service to our families,” says Endicott.

Ogilvie Elementary is just one of 41 schools that has used funding provided by Kellogg’s Corporate Citizenship Fund to increase school breakfast participation this school year. The grants target schools with families in need; each school has at least 50 percent of their student population eligible for free and reduced-price meals.

Creighton School District in Arizona, which has 84 percent of students receiving free or reduced lunch, used Action for Healthy Kids grant money to purchase equipment that now provides daily breakfast for hundreds of students in the district. 

“Breakfast plays a vital role in improving test scores for children, yet many of our eligible students weren’t taking advantage of the school breakfast program,” says Linda Daugherty, RD, SNS, Creighton’s director of Food Services. “Since we implemented district-wide breakfast in the classroom, school breakfast participation has increased 237 percent over last year.”

“For years, schools have encouraged better nourishment during testing time, knowing that eating breakfast can improve scores,” says Rob Bisceglie, Action for Healthy Kids executive director. “It’s really encouraging to now see more schools helping students start every day ready to learn.”

Additional Funds Announced

 

The school breakfast grants are funded by Kellogg’s Corporate Citizenship Fund, the charitable arm of Kellogg Company. Action for Healthy Kids administers the grants and provides staff support to help recipient schools. Kellogg’s Corporate Citizenship Fund recently renewed its financial commitment to Action for Healthy Kids with a grant of $350,000 for its state teams and direct support of schools, including continued expansion of school breakfast programs. 

 

“We are pleased with the increases in school breakfast participation among America’s neediest children,” says Dr. Celeste Clark, Kellogg Company senior vice president, global nutrition and corporate affairs.  “By starting each day with a balanced breakfast that includes grains, fruits and low-fat milk these children are now starting their day with better overall nutrition.”

About Action for Healthy Kids

Action for Healthy Kids® is the nation’s leading nonprofit and largest volunteer network fighting childhood obesity and undernourishment by working with schools to improve nutrition and physical activity to help our kids learn to eat right, be active every day and be ready to learn. We provide expertise, volunteers, programs and resources nationwide through a unique collaboration of thousands of professionals, parents, educators, community volunteers and students, in partnership with more than 65 professional associations, government agencies and corporations. More information is available at www.ActionforHealthyKids.org, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Action-for-Healthy-Kids/267076500068?ref=mf and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Act4HlthyKids.

About Kellogg’s Corporate Citizenship Fund

Kellogg’s Corporate Citizenship Fund is the charitable arm of Kellogg Company. With 2009 sales of nearly $13 billion, Kellogg Company is the world’s leading producer of cereal and a leading producer of convenience foods. Kellogg products are manufactured in 18 countries and marketed in more than 180 countries. Kellogg Company and Kellogg’s Corporate Citizenship Fund contributed more than $57 million in cash and $124 million in product to various charitable organizations around the world over the last five years.  For more information, visit www.kelloggcompany.com. Kellogg’s Corporate Responsibility report including its approach, progress and future direction in the marketplace, workplace, environment and community can be found at www.kelloggcompany.com/CR. For information on Kellogg Company’s commitment to nutrition, visit www.kelloggnutrition.com.

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[i] Wyon D, Abrahamsson L, Jartelius M, Fletcher R. “An Experimental Study of the Effects of Energy Intake at Breakfast on the Test Performance of 10 Year-Old Children in School.” International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition 1997;48(1):5-12.

Vaisman N, Voet H, Akivis A, Vakil E. “Effects of Breakfast Timing on the Cognitive Functions of Elementary School Students.” Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine 1996 150:1089-1092.

Wesnes KA, Pincock C, Richardson D, Helm G, Hails S. “Breakfast reduces declines in attention and memory over the morning in schoolchildren.” Appetite 2003;41(3):329-31.

Pollitt E, Cueto S, Jacoby ER. “Fasting and Cognition in Well- and Undernourished Schoolchildren: A Review of Three Experimental Studies.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1998; 67(4):779S-784S.

Jacoby E, Cueto S, Pollitt E. “Benefits of a school breakfast program among Andean children in Huaraz, Peru.” Food and Nutrition Bulletin 1996; 17:54-64.

Bellisle F. “Effects of diet on behaviour and cognition in children.” British Journal of Nutrition 2004;92 (Suppl 2), S227-S232.

 

For additional information contact:

Deb New, Director of Communications

(317) 602-3416

deb@ActionforHealthyKids.org