My children may be grown, but children’s health and well-being is still a top priority to me. It is unthinkable that millions of children go hungry every day in this country. How can this be in the land of the plenty? You may be wondering if there is a way to help address this basic need for our children. Look no further than the school nutrition programs.

My lunch for a happy school day

(c) National Dairy Council 2015

Many are unaware of all that the federal school nutrition programs have to offer. To help you be in the know, highlighted below are four nuggets of knowledge about school nutrition.

  1. Filling the nutrient gap: Nearly 16 million children in the U.S. face hunger. School nutrition programs help to fill this hunger hole and reduce food insecurity. Children benefit from the variety of healthful food options like fruits, veggies, whole grains and milk offered at each meal.
  2. Break the fast in class or on the go: Have you ever run out the door without grabbing a bite to eat? After a while, you probably feel a bit fatigued and agitated, right? So is the case with millions of school children. Without fuel in their tank, they lack that yearn to learn. Thankfully, breakfast is offered nationwide in schools. Grab-N-Go and Breakfast in the Classroom are two flexible and effective programs to help fuel up kids so they’re ready to learn.
  3. Dinner is served: The dinner bell does not sound for many children. Why? Because there is no dinner waiting at home for them. Thanks the Afterschool Meals Program, millions of children can eat an evening meal when otherwise they would go hungry. A few years ago, serving supper after school even helped a football team in Georgia win a state championship!
  4. Summer sustenance: Summer is the time for children to romp around and enjoy being a kid. Sadly, for millions of children, summer is a time of uncertainty about when (or if) they will be able to eat. The Summer Meals Program offers a solution to provide free nutritious meals to millions of hungry children. Now, these children can relish in the joy of summer.
SMR_P3_5TeensCafeteriaLunch

(c) National Dairy Council 2015

As you can see, school nutrition programs offer hungry children a safety net. Not only do the programs help to provide children with the nourishment their growing bodies need, but they also offer peace of mind. Now, these children will not need to worry about where they will get their next meal.

What is your favorite school nutrition memory?