273 Maryland Schools to Share $3.38 Million for Classroom Breakfast
273 Maryland Schools to Share
$3.38 Million for Classroom Breakfast
Program Credited with Improving Academics, Behavior
BALTIMORE, MD (June 13, 2012) – The Maryland State Department of Education has announced that 273 schools in the state will share $3.38 million in state funds to participate in the Maryland Meals for Achievement (MMFA) classroom breakfast program during the 2012-2013 school year.
Governor O’Malley’s commitment to ending childhood hunger has resulted in a $560,000 increase in funding over last year, allowing 41 more schools to participate than previous years. MMFA is an innovative classroom breakfast project that was launched in 1998 in several Maryland elementary schools. For a list of the participating schools, visit below.
Students participating in the program have the opportunity to eat School Breakfast in their classrooms every morning, at no cost, regardless of family income. Schools with the program have an average daily breakfast participation of 70 percent compared to schools without MMFA that have an average daily breakfast participation of 15 percent. The MMFA program is the most effective way of increasing participation in the School Breakfast Program.
MMFA funds are intended to help cover the cost of providing a free meal to students who would normally pay from 30 cents to $1.75 for school breakfast. However, by state law, at least 40 percent of the students enrolled in a school must be eligible for free or reduced-price meals for the school to qualify for MMFA. The bulk of funding for the School Breakfast Program is federal, derived from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which provides cash subsidies for each meal served to students.
“Students who eat breakfast daily, perform better academically, have improved concentration and better classroom participation at school. MMFA, like all of our School Breakfast Programs, provides a great breakfast alternative for many students who do not eat breakfast at home,” said Interim State Superintendent of Schools Bernard Sadusky.
Moreover, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School have credited MMFA with improving students’ test scores, behavior and well-being. Teachers, principals, nurses, and guidance counselors all report positive changes following the start of a classroom breakfast program in their schools.
There are ambitious efforts underway to increase breakfast participation in all Maryland schools. The School Breakfast Program is one of several nutrition programs included in the Governor’s Partnership to
End Childhood Hunger. This Partnership seeks to eliminate childhood hunger by 2015, a goal that is consistent with President Obama’s efforts.
For more information on the Maryland Meals for Achievement Program, contact MSDE’s School and Community Nutrition Programs Branch at 410-767-0214 or email Brenda Schwaab at email@example.com.
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