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Baltimore, Md. – March 25, 2014 – Thousands of students, teachers and leaders across the state of Maryland joined Maryland Hunger Solutions in Hear the Maryland Crunch, a state-wide, synchronized bite into an apple to raise awareness about the importance of school breakfast in the fight against childhood hunger.
“We applaud the thousands students, teachers and partners throughout the state of Maryland who participated in Hear the Maryland Crunch,” said Michael J. Wilson, director of Maryland Hunger Solutions. “If we are serious about improving the health and the lives of children in Maryland, then improving participation in school breakfast is the place to start.”
Increasing the number of children who eat school breakfast – which reaches 56.5 of low-income students in Maryland for every 100 students that receive school lunch – would help end childhood hunger, as well as boost learning and test scores, improve attendance and student behavior, and improve overall student health.
One way to increase participation is for more schools to adopt alternative serving models for breakfast, such as Breakfast in the Classroom. Such programs erase barriers to participation to make breakfast part of the school day by moving it out of the cafeteria and into the classroom. Maryland Hunger Solutions has been working with schools across the state to help them start up such programs, and will continue to support and encourage more schools to follow this successful path.
Schools across Maryland participated in the event, with thousands biting into an apple at the same time, and a number of state leaders issued comments in support of the event.
“Here in Maryland, we have made a commitment to ensure that every child has access to the nutrition they need to thrive,” said Governor Martin O’Malley, who encouraged Marylanders to participate in the statewide crunch. “Together, we can make sure every child in our state has access to a nutritious breakfast each morning.”
“Our future depends on our commitment to our children’s education. As a mother and a grandmother, I know that success in the classroom starts with a healthy, nutritious breakfast and lunch. Yet too many American children go to school hungry, without the nutrition they need to learn and succeed. Their hunger is not simply an educational issue, but a moral one. Our nation must rise to the challenge, continue to raise the bar on the nutrition and quality of our school breakfasts and lunches, and ensure that in Maryland and everywhere else, our children can Hear the Crunch,” said Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.
“School breakfast is a win-win-win for schools, families, and kids. Children who start the day with a healthy meal have improved academic, behavioral, and health outcomes and eating school breakfast helps families stretch tight food budgets and schedules,” said Sydney Daigle, Program Coordinator of Prince George’s County Food Equity Council.
“Washington County Public Schools are proud to partner with Maryland Hunger Solutions for Hear the Maryland Crunch. This is a tremendous opportunity to highlight healthy foods during National Nutrition Month while also putting a spotlight on Maryland’s bounty as all of our apples are procured from within Washington County,” said Jeffrey Proulx, Washington County Public Schools Food & Nutrition Services.
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