AUSTIN (March 4, 2015) – As part of an effort to encourage students to eat breakfast and increase participation in the School Breakfast Program, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is promoting School Breakfast Week (SBW) and efforts to serve healthy meals to Texas children. On average, students who consume a nutritious first meal of the day earn higher test scores and demonstrate better classroom behavior than peers who do not eat breakfast. According to the Texas Hunger Initiative, only about 32 percent of Texas students take advantage of the opportunity to eat a healthy breakfast at school and often start classes hungry.
“Students who eat a healthy breakfast are geared up and ready to go for their school day, and it concerns me that too many children are showing up at school hungry,” Commissioner Miller said. “A healthy breakfast helps students focus in the classroom and perform better in everything they do. That’s why the Texas Department of Agriculture is working with schools across Texas to offer healthy breakfast meals every morning in our schools.”
SBW began on March 2 and runs through March 6. Throughout the week, the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is working to promote not only healthy breakfasts but also growing farm to school programs in Texas schools. Each year, TDA challenges schools to use Texas-grown products in the meals served during SBW through the statewide Local Products Challenge. TDA recognizes all schools that participate in the challenge.
Today, Commissioner Miller ate breakfast with students at KIPP Austin Leadership Elementary School, which is part of KIPP Austin Public Schools and one of several charter schools in the area. All KIPP schools in Austin are participating in the Local Products Challenge.
“It is our philosophy at KIPP Austin Public Schools to source and purchase locally provided foods to support our community and further the health and wellness of our students,” said Steve Smith, director of food services for KIPP Austin Public Schools. “We are excited to showcase our district’s participation in the Local Products Challenge.”
The 2015 National School Breakfast Week theme, “Make the Grade with School Breakfast,” reminds everyone in the school community — parents, students and administrators — that a healthy school breakfast sets students up for a day of learning and academic success.