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On September 25, students at the G.A. Learning Center celebrated the power of school breakfast to feed brains and bodies as part of New York State’s inaugural School Breakfast Day. Along with schools across the state, GALC highlighted this critical meal through social media, fun giveaways, and education with the students.
School Breakfast Day was created this year as a way to showcase the state’s “No Student Goes Hungry” initiative, a comprehensive program to provide students of all ages, backgrounds, and financial situations access to healthy, locally-sourced meals.
“School breakfast is a great way for students to start their day. It doesn’t take much time and the return can be great,” said Dr. Kristin Garaas-Johnson, Director of Education at G.A. Learning Center. “We provide our students at GALC access to breakfast when they arrive at our school from surrounding districts and it means a lot to them. We’ve also partnered with 5&2 Ministries in the area to make sure access to nutritious meals can carry over into the home when they leave in the evening or on weekends,” said Garaas-Johnson.
Today, one in five children in New York come from families that struggle with hunger yet only 29% of students who are eligible for free or reduced price school breakfast in the state are accessing the meal. Due to this low percentage, over 1,400 schools in every corner of New York State will be expanding their school breakfast offerings to include unique Breakfast after the Bell (BAB) programming. Studies show that schools that offer a BAB program such as Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC), Grab and Go to the Classroom, or Second Chance Breakfast, have improved academic performance and reduced disciplinary problems.
“Every meal matters when you’re a hungry child,” said Rachel Sabella, Director of No Kid Hungry New York. “Making breakfast a part of the school day means thousands of kids in New York will have the chance to get the morning nutrition they need to learn. That’s good for kids; it’s also good for New York,” said Sabella.
To learn more about G.A. Learning Center, visit www.gafamilyservices.org or call 716-665-2772. To learn more about 5&2 Ministries or how you can help hungry children in the classroom’s of Chautauqua County, visit www.5and2ministry.com or call 716-664-1011.
G.A. Learning Center and G.A. Family Services are a part of Lutheran, a Christian organization that offers a continuum of care that supports an individual’s journey through life with compassion, dignity, and respect.