The first phase of West Virginia’s anti-hunger program Feed To Achieve will begin soon, starting with breakfast.
The law is designed to ensure ALL children receive meals, regardless of income. I wrote about this when the bill was passed here.
I was mad because this dude thought kids should work for their food…
Rick Goff , executive director of the Office of Child Nutrition at the state Department of Education, says there is a lot of misconceptions about the program.
“The misconception is that it’s going to feed everyone for free. That’s not the case. But, it is the goal. What you’re able to do is dependent on how much funding you have,” he said. “We have to be very cognizant of the fact that if we collect private-sector funds, we need to be careful not to implement programs that aren’t sustainable.”
For example, Goff said, if an individual or a company donated $10,000 to a school district, it’s unlikely a universal feeding program could be maintained, but the funding could be used to purchase food to send home or used for transportation costs to get students to feeding sites.
Of the 52 counties with eligible schools, 14 are resisting the programming . They don’t have directors of nutrition as awesome as Diane Miller, I guess.
“We’re basically creating an atmosphere that’s conducive to learning and eating. I’ve seen an explosion of participation since breakfast was moved into the classroom. Students love it,” said Diane Miller, the county’s executive director for food and nutrition. “It’s not a disruption like some teachers might think. Students might learn better if they’re not hungry.”
Miller said that while she can’t speak for other counties, any extra work that comes with the new law is worth it to Kanawha County Schools to provide more for needy students.
“Some feel it’s an aggressive approach, but in Kanawha County, we took the aggressive approach in order to allow healthier eating and enable all children, regardless of socioeconomic status, to eat,” she said.
It’s always baffling when school administrators don’t recognize the connection between food….enough of it and the quality of it…. and school performance and even more, when they don’t jump at the opportunity to provide all students with equal access to food. Hopefully they’ll all get with the program soon.