Everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Starting the day with a healthy breakfast helps kids concentrate, solve problems, be creative and learn. What most people don’t realize is that millions of children in need do not get breakfast at school, even though they are eligible to receive it.
They are entitled to breakfast through the School Breakfast Program – yet they start the school day hungry. Indeed, a report from the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) says that states failed to access $382 million in federal funding that could have been used to provide breakfast to children who qualified for free or reduced price breakfasts.
To address this growing problem, two one-time presidential nominees, former Senators Bob Dole (R-KS) and George McGovern (D-SD) joined forces with key leaders in the Federal government, non-profit and private sectors to launch the “got breakfast?” campaign - promoting the adoption of healthy breakfast and milk programs in our nation’s school systems.
At the news conference announcing the campaign, Senator Dole said, “The Federal government already has appropriated money for breakfast at school – but not enough schools take advantage of it. Our goal with “got breakfast?” is to help the neediest children start the day with a good breakfast so they are ready to learn.”
Senator McGovern added, “Each morning only 9 million children get breakfast at school out of the 29 million who are eligible. The ‘got breakfast?’ campaign aims to turn a healthy breakfast for every child from a dream into a reality.”
Partners in the “got breakfast?” Foundation are the Alliance to End Hunger, East Side Entrees. General Mills, The Coca-Cola Company, the National Dairy Council, and Share Our Strength.
Alliance member East Side Entrees, headquartered in Woodbury, NY, is a major supplier of nutritious food products to school systems throughout America. East Side Entrees will donate a portion of their proceeds to Share Our Strength and other non-profits’ efforts to end childhood hunger in the United States over the next 20 years.
Patricia Nicklin, Managing Director Share Out Strength, another Alliance member says, “If we do our jobs right, ‘got breakfast?’ will have an enormous impact on helping hungry children all over the country get the nutrition they need to learn, grow and thrive.”