Millions of American children lack nutrition necessary to learn
despite Congressional funds available!
A new study conducted by three Harvard researchers and sponsored by the Sodexo Foundation discovered that millions of American children may be attending school without the nutrition necessary to learn despite the fact that Congress has made the funds available. The Sodexo Foundation is now calling for more school districts to participate in the federally funded School Breakfast Program as one of the ways to help solve the problem.
Local school districts who offer the school breakfast program receive reimbursement from Congress, making the program fully funded. However, nearly $10 billion of the estimated $90 billion America pays annually due to hunger are due to the costs of poorer education-related outcomes such as greater absenteeism and more grade retention related to hunger.
Dr. J. Larry Brown, senior author of the new report, Visiting Scholar at Harvard School of Public Health and founding director, Center on Hunger and Poverty is available for interviews to discuss the new report. Dr. Brown can discuss all aspects of the report: Congressional funding, children’s nutrition and the overall findings of the report.
The new report is a summary of more than 100 published research articles cited as the most authoritative on this topic and provides the scientific basis for the researchers’ conclusion that the School Breakfast Program is highly effective in terms of providing children with a stronger basis to learn in school, eat more nutritious diets, and lead more healthy lives both emotionally and physically.
Over 85 percent of individual schools across the country offer a school lunch, one in seven - more than 15,000 of them - still do not make breakfast available to children who are in need. In some states, only 50 to 60 percent of the schools serving students lunch also provide children with a breakfast to enable them to learn.
The report concludes that one of the more cost-efficient things the nation can do to reduce hunger among children and to better their health and educational success, is to fully utilize the National School Breakfast Program in districts across the country. The full report can be accessed at www.SodexoFoundation.org.