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25 for 25: School Breakfast

We are commemorating our 25th Anniversary with 25 posts about our history and accomplishments between now and the Spotlight Gala on September 15.  Join us for a celebration of Voices for Children and all of the organizations, lawmakers, and individuals who have supported our work on behalf of children.  For details, visit voicesforchildren.com/spotlight-gala.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, but is it true?  The short answer is yes, there is evidence to support the fact that there are significant health benefits to eating a morning meal.  Like many things, this morning meal is even more important for kids whose brains and bodies are still developing.

The school breakfast program is an important lifeline for kids who might otherwise miss out on breakfast.   Through the school breakfast program, federal funds are provided to states to provide free or reduced breakfasts to eligible low-income children in the schools.  This helps ensure that these children start their day ready to learn, instead of focused on their hunger.

In spite of the importance of this meal, the school breakfast program has been underutilized in Nebraska.  In 2007, Voices for Children worked to support that passage of a bill to ensure more stable funding for school breakfast programs.  In the 2009 – 2010 school year 272 school districts in Nebraska were participating in this program, a slight increase from the 237 districts who participated in the previous school year.

We hope that the work done in 2007 to ensure more stable funding contributed to this increase, but there is still work to be done.  Voices for Children hopes to continue building on the past work done to support the school breakfast program to help ensure that every child has access to the most important meal of the day.

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