Governor Hassan and NH Executive Council members joined representatives from 9 NH schools Friday, March 13 at an awards breakfast to mark the one- year anniversary of the NH School Breakfast Challenge.Launched in October 2013 by NH Kids Count, the NH Department of Education, New England Dairy & Food Council and the School Nutrition Association of NH, the Challenge rallied schools to increase breakfast participation by 25% over two years.
Governor Hassan and Executive Council members as well as Tom Raffio of the NH Board of Education/Northeast Delta Dental helped celebrate schools that showed marked improvement in school breakfast utilization during the first year of the Challenge.
Top- Achieving schools were recognized for the greatest increase in breakfast participation in categories of student age, enrollment and participation among students who utilize subsidized meals (Free and Reduced Price Meals) and among the overall student population.
“We know that eating breakfast is critical to our students’ health and their ability to perform well in school, which helps prepare them for healthy and successful lives in the future as well,” Governor Hassan said. “I applaud and thank the first nine top-achieving schools in the Breakfast Challenge, and I look forward to continuing to work together to help improve breakfast participation for all of our students.”
“School breakfast is an important meal for all students. Serving a nutritious breakfast at school not only alleviates hunger but, as research documents, improves concentration and test scores, lowers discipline issues and increases school attendance,” said Ellen Fineberg, executive director of NH Kids Count. “We congratulate the year-one award winners for providing a good foundation for their students to succeed in the classroom.”
Across the state, 185 schools increased school breakfast participation. The School Breakfast Challenge will continue through October 2015.