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Breakfast in the Classroom By: Michelle Esparza

According to ABC World News, an average of 17 million children in the U.S. do not have the resources to receive consistently healthy meals. That is 17 million children who might go to bed hungry and go to school hungry each day. Every child in America should have the right to well-balanced meals, which is why the program Breakfast in the Classroom should be implemented all across the nation. Breakfast in the Classroom is a federally funded program, making every meal free to every student regardless of family income. This program is available to schools Pre-K through 12th grade. At this time, schools have the option to implement Breakfast in the Classroom on their campus, but the program has not yet reached many schools. It should be made federal policy for every public school in America to implement Breakfast in the classroom. It is astounding that so many children in this country face a daily struggle with food insecurity. This is an obvious problem that should be unheard of in a country such as our own. If Breakfast in the Classroom were implemented in every public school in the country, every single student would receive a healthy breakfast meal five days a week. In some cases, we dont know when a students last meal was, and breakfast in the classroom will solve just that. If a concerned parent or member of the community would like their local school to have Breakfast in the Classroom, it could be as simple as making a call to the schools school nutrition director. And with other parents support, changes could get more attention and the program

could be implemented in no time. As long as the school falls under a few basic requirements, such school could qualify to be federally funded for the program.

According to the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) there are three common ways that Breakfast in the Classroom can serve students; delivering breakfast to classrooms for students to eat in class, setting up carts in school hallways with a bagged breakfast, serving breakfast after first period in middle and high schools. There are many ways to make breakfast in the classroom fast and effective. The is the concern of many teachers and schools is that breakfast in the classroom will take time away from instructional time, but schools that have already implemented the program report that the entire process only takes 15 to 20 minutes a day and is commonly done during the time announcements are on. Also, many schools have reported a decrease in absences and tardiness since implementing Breakfast in the Classroom. According to Kimberly Brown, a writer for ABC World News, medical research has shown that lack of nutrition can permanently alter a child's brain architecture, stunting intellectual capacity and a child's ability to learn and interact with others. Yet the urge to implement Breakfast in the Classroom is still developing much too slow. In order to work towards raising a healthier American youth, contact your childs school and ask if they have considered Breakfast in the Classroom. Contact your political representatives and remind them of those 17 million children who go to school feeling hungry every day.

References Abc13channel. (November 15, 2012). Special report: kids health matters: School nutrition. Retrieved from Alderman, L. (November 5, 2010). Putting nutrition at the head of the school lunch line. The New York Times. Retrieved from Food Research and Action Center. (2010). Expanding school breakfast participation. Retrieved from Robinson-O'Brien, R., Burgess-Champoux, T., Haines, J., Hannan, P. J., & NeumarkSztainer, D. (2010). Associations Between School Meals Offered Through the National School Lunch program and the School Breakfast Program and Fruit and Vegetable Intake Among Ethnically Diverse, Low-Income Children. Journal Of School Health, 80(10), 487-492. doi:10.1111/j.1746-1561.2010.00532