Schools are at the center of our communities and our kids’ lives. Parents know and trust the people who work at their neighborhood schools, and schools have the facilities and staff needed to feed kids every day.
That’s why school meals programs are at the heart of No Kid Hungry’s work.
In the United States today, millions of kids start the school day on an empty stomach. It’s hard for them to focus and learn. Luckily, there is a solution.
Schools across the country have started making breakfast part of the school day, just like lunch. That means a lot more kids get to eat and start the school day ready to learn.
That’s where No Kid Hungry comes in. We help educators and lawmakers across the country with the guidance and funding they need to make breakfast a part of the regular school day for students.
How Many Kids Need Breakfast?
Millions of kids in the United States who need a healthy breakfast at school aren’t getting one.
For millions of children, summer is the hungriest time of year. During the school year, we can reach children with programs like breakfast, lunch and afterschool meals. But during the summer, when schools are closed, those meals disappear.
The answer is free summer lunch programs, run by local schools or community groups and open to any kid or teenager who needs a healthy meal.
No Kid Hungry helps community leaders get the resources they need to run these critical programs. We also help families find local meals sites, with our Meals Finder Map and our free summer meals texting service (simply text “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 877-877 to find free meals in your neighborhood).
The Hungriest Time of Year
Summer can be a tough time for children – when schools are closed, healthy meals are harder to come by.
Studies show afterschool meals help with test scores, attendance and graduation rates. “This is an essential program in our district,” said Donna Martin, a school nutrition director for Burke County Public Schools in Georgia. “The kids are willing to stay after school for tutoring because of the hot meal. The graduation rate has increased.”
More and more communities are offering students a snack or a meal after the school day ends. Teachers across the country tell us how important those meals are to their students who might not get enough to eat at home, providing not just nutrition, but a sense of security and stability.
How Do Afterschool Programs Help Children?
Research shows how effective these programs are for kids.