Baltimore, Md. – December 20, 2011 – Increased funding for the Maryland Meals for Achievement Program should be a top priority in Governor Martin O’Malley’s FY 2013 budget, according to a letter (pdf) circulated by Maryland Hunger Solutions (MDHS) and signed by 13 leading anti-hunger and anti-poverty groups.
Maryland Meals for Achievement (MMFA) is a state program that supports breakfast in the classroom initiatives. The benefits of MMFA are clear – according to a report by Maryland Hunger Solutions, counties with a greater percentage of schools participating in MMFA also had higher participation rates in school breakfast. But the program’s reach is hampered by low funding. During the 2011-2012 school year, only 228 of the 780 schools that are eligible to participate in the MMFA program were able to participate because of budget limitations.
“As more families struggle to make ends meet, it is essential that eligible schools receive the resources needed to provide free school breakfast to all of their students through the MMFA program,” said MDHS Director Cathy Demeroto. “Participation soars when breakfast is moved out of the cafeteria and becomes part of the scheduled school day. We urge the Governor to expand funding for this very important program.”
Organizations signing the letter include: Advocates for Children and Youth, Baltimore Cash Campaign, Capital Area Food Bank, Food Research and Action Center, Interfaith Works, Maryland Cash Campaign, Maryland Food Bank, Maryland Hunger Solutions, Maryland No Kid Hungry Campaign, Maryland State Education Association, Maryland Out of School Time Network, Seedco, and Share Our Strength.