Tennessee named one of six states selected to participate in No Kid Hungry’s 2019 School Breakfast Leadership Institute

Thursday, May 23, 2019 | 12:53pm

NASHVILLE – The national anti-hunger campaign No Kid Hungry has selected Tennessee as one of six states that will participate in its 2019 School Breakfast Leadership Institute. Teams from Georgia, Maryland, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, and Wyoming will attend an in-person convening in New Orleans, Louisiana June 11-12, and receive a $50,000 grant from No Kid Hungry to implement a comprehensive action plan to expand access to school breakfast in their state. States were selected through a competitive proposal process.

No Kid Hungry’s School Breakfast Leadership Institute brings together national, state, and local leaders to develop new and better ways to connect kids with school breakfast. Tennessee’s state team is composed of stakeholders who can influence school breakfast practice and policy from the Tennessee Department of Education, first lady’s office, Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents (TOSS), State Board of Education, and Knox County Schools.

“We are excited about this unique opportunity to bring our team together to identify the most effective ways to ensure Tennessee students have access to school breakfast, “ said Lori Paisley, executive director of healthy schools at the Tennessee Department of Education. “We believe that healthy students learn better, and a healthy breakfast sets our students up for success. The support we will receive will allow us to establish goals and to develop key strategies to strengthen school breakfast across the state.”

One out of every five kids in Tennessee is growing up in a family that struggles with hunger; school breakfast only reaches 65 percent of students who may need it.

School breakfast is an energy source for kids across the nation. Research shows that hunger has long-term ramifications on children, including lower test scores, weaker attendance rates, and a higher risk of hospitalizations and chronic diseases. No Kid Hungry and its partners focus on school breakfast as a critical way to end childhood hunger.

Accessing traditional cafeteria breakfast service can be challenging for many kids. Breakfast after the bell provides breakfast in a way that is more convenient and accessible to students, resulting in more kids starting the day ready to learn.

About No Kid Hungry

No child should go hungry in America. But one in six kids will face hunger this year. No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger through effective programs that provide kids with the food they need. This is a problem we know how to solve. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization working to end hunger and poverty. Join us at NoKidHungry.org.

For more information about the School Breakfast Leadership Institute, please contact Lori.Paisley@tn.gov. For media inquiries, please contact Jay Klein at Jay.Klein@tn.gov or 615-406-1046.