[Contact: Claire Mansfield at 804.692.2545 or cmansfield@strength.org]

Richmond, VA – Today No Kid Hungry Virginia and partners announced the winners of the third annual Virginia Breakfast Challenge, a campaign to increase school breakfast participation across the state. A total of 1,471 schools and 109 divisions participated in the Challenge.

School divisions were placed in one of four categories based on overall enrollment. In each category, one elementary and secondary school won based on breakfast participation growth from October to December 2018, compared to the same timeframe in 2017. Winning schools will each receive $1,000 for technology enhancements, field trips, or playground equipment along with special recognition for their cafeteria staff.

The following schools were recognized through the Virginia Breakfast Challenge because of their success in connecting more students with breakfast:

Category: Honeycrisp

  • Pine Spring Elementary in Fairfax County
  • Annandale High in Fairfax County

Category: Jonagold

  • S.P. Morton Elementary in Franklin
  • Skyline Middle School in Warren County

Category: Gala

  • William Mason Cooper Elementary in Hampton
  • Stuarts Draft Middle in Augusta County

Category: Cameo

  • Poquoson Primary in Poquoson
  • Ridgeview Middle in Dickenson County

New this year, organizations were also recognized in the “Gold” category for their innovative approaches to breakfast, such as integrating Farm-to-School models and improving nutritional quality. Winning schools and divisions included: Douglass Park Elementary in Portsmouth, Harrisonburg High in Harrisonburg, A.R. Ware Elementary in Staunton and Prince William County Public Schools.

One in seven kids in Virginia lives in families that struggle with hunger. Research shows that hunger has serious consequences for children, including lower test scores, weaker attendance rates, and higher risk of hospitalization and chronic diseases.

No Kid Hungry Virginia and its local partners focus on Breakfast After the Bell as a critical way to end childhood hunger in Virginia. The program increases access to school breakfast by bringing breakfast out of the cafeteria and making it a part of the school day.

“Expanding access to breakfast helps improve classroom performance, attendance and promotes healthy habits among students,” said Claire Mansfield, No Kid Hungry Virginia state director. “We’re proud of this year’s winners and all the schools across the state that participated in the Challenge. Our team is here to work with any school in the Commonwealth that is looking to boost participation in breakfast programs.”

The Virginia Breakfast Challenge is a collaborative initiative between No Kid Hungry Virginia, The Dairy Alliance, Virginia Hunger Solutions, School Nutrition Association of Virginia, Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, and Virginia Department of Education to encourage expanded participation in the National School Breakfast Program.

Visit va.nokidhungry.org for more information about No Kid Hungry Virginia’s work and Breakfast After the Bell programs.

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About Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign

No child should go hungry in America, but 1 in 6 kids will face hunger this year. Using proven, practical solutions, No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger today by ensuring that kids start the day with a nutritious breakfast and families learn the skills they need to shop and cook on a budget. When we all work together, we can make sure kids get the healthy food they need. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of national anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength. Join us at NoKidHungry.org.