Today, Academy Award-winning actor Jeff Bridges saluted LRSD efforts to end childhood hunger while helping to launch “1 Million More: No Kid Hungry National Breakfast Challenge.”
“Eating a healthy breakfast dramatically changes kids’ lives,” said Jeff Bridges, national spokesperson for the No Kid Hungry campaign while visiting Stephens Elementary School. “Too many kids are starting the day too hungry to learn. Today we’re challenging the nation to join us in a million more children to breakfast in the classroom in the next two years.”
The Arkansas No Kid Hungry campaign, which includes Share Our Strength, Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, and Governor Mike Beebe, launched in October 2010. The campaign is ending childhood hunger in Arkansas by connecting kids with the healthy food they need where they learn, play, and live.
LEARN: Success = Breakfast after the Bell
Arkansas and the Little Rock School District are leading the charge to make sure all kids start their day with a healthy school breakfast.
• Arkansas is one of the top 10 states in the nation increasing school breakfast participation among low-income students.
• 737,359: The number of additional school breakfasts Arkansas served to kids who need them in 2013
•1.5 million: The number of additional school breakfasts Served in Arkansas since the start of the No Kid Hungry campaign.
The Impact: School breakfast in linked to long-term impacts like greater academic achievement, improved health and stronger economic potential. According to 2013 research from the consulting firm Deloitte (“Ending Childhood Hunger: A Social Impact Analysis”), connecting 70% of eligible school kids in Arkansas to school breakfast lead to:
• 38,789 additional days of school attended per year;
• 25,860 students with better math scores per year;
• 6,465 additional high school graduates out of the current crop of
elementary school students.
Arkansas: Number One in the Nation in Boosting Summer Meals
When school is out, kids are even more vulnerable to hunger. Arkansas and the Little Rock School District are leading the country in efforts to connect eligible kids to free, healthy meals over the summer. According to preliminary 2013 USDA data, Arkansas had the largest increased in summer meals served of any state in the country.
• 1.6 million: The number of additional summer meals served to kids who needed them during the summer of 2013. (The total number of meals served was an estimated 4 million.) That increases accounts for nearly a quarter of the overall national increase in summer meals last year.
• 2.1 million: The number of additional summer meals served to kids who need them in Arkansas since the start of the No Kid Hunger campaign,
The Impact: While we’re helping to connect more kids to summer meals, the No Kid Hungry campaign will also work with the USDA to facilitate planning in six other states to translate the success in Arkansas and the Little Rock School District around the nation.