In recognition of National School Breakfast Week, DC Central Kitchen today held a “Breakfast Fest” for students and parents at the 8 DC Public Schools where DC Central Kitchen is the food service provider. Parents were invited to join their children for a free, healthy breakfast meal consisting of whole grain waffle sticks with all natural syrup, turkey sausage, fresh local pear, and skim or 1% milk.
In Ward 7 at Nalle Elementary School, students and their parents were joined by Councilmember David Grosso (I-At-Large); Chair of the DC Food Policy Council, Chef Spike Mendelsohn; Food Policy Director for the DC Office of Planning, Laine Cidlowski; and community partners to see DC Central Kitchen’s school breakfast program first-hand.
With one in seven District households struggling with hunger, school breakfast is a vital tool in improving food security, academic achievement, and child health. According to the US Department of Agriculture, breakfast helps children pay attention, better perform problem-solving tasks, and improves memory. With an obesity rate of 44 percent among DC children living below the poverty line, studies have shown that children who eat breakfast on a regular basis are less likely to be overweight.
The passage of the Healthy Schools Act in 2010 made school breakfast free for all DC Public School and charter school students. As the food service provider for 8 DC Public Schools, two private schools , and a charter school all serving primarily low-income youth, DC Central Kitchen provides 6,800 healthy, locally-sourced, scratch-cooked school meals every day that helps students to learn, grow, and achieve their full potential.
“As a local nonprofit committed to supporting our community through food, we want to remind DC families that school breakfast is not only a free resource, but it also provides the necessary nutrition students need to remain nourished and engaged at school,” said DC Central Kitchen CEO, Michael Curtin, Jr. “For the nearly 19 percent of DC residents living below the poverty line, school meals fill an important gap in food insecure households and provide an accessible way for parents to establish healthy eating habits for their children.”
DC Central Kitchen’s “Breakfast Fest” at Nalle Elementary School brought together families, community partners, government officials, and others committed to improving the role of school nutrition and school breakfast for DC children. Check out more photos on our Flickr page!