Gov. McAuliffe announces almost 5 million meal increase in school breakfast program

Terry McAuliffe (Photo: AP/Elise Amendola)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Wednesday that 4.88 million more school breakfasts were served to Virginia students during the 2015-16 school year compared to the prior year.

McAuliffe made this announcement during a visit to Oak Grove-Bellemeade Elementary School in Richmond with First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe and NBA All-Star, Charles Oakley.

In the 2015 legislative session, the McAuliffe administration worked to get $537,000 in funding for 244 schools to provide healthy breakfasts to students.

As a result, funded schools saw a 13.6 percent increase in participation on average. McAuliffe then worked with the General Assembly to provide over $2 million in additional support for breakfast program expansion in the 2016 session.

McAuliffe says the funding will encourage the adoption of alternative service models that allow for breakfast consumption in the classroom after the school day begins.

“We simply can’t build the workforce we need to compete in the 21st century if tens of thousands of Virginia children are starting each school day with an empty stomach,” McAuliffe said. “I am so proud of the work the First Lady and so many others across the Commonwealth have done to achieve the milestone of nearly 5 million more school breakfasts served to students who will lead the way in the New Virginia economy.”

The Governor also announced the launch of the first Virginia Breakfast Challenge, an initiative of the No Kid Hungry Virginia campaign and several nonprofit and state partners.

Schools that achieve the greatest increases in breakfast participation will be eligible for prizes to support school nutrition programs, teacher engagement, and infrastructure improvements.

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