Philadelphia, PA - Busy weekday mornings make it a challenge for many families to find time for a healthy breakfast. However, Nutritional Development Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (NDS) helps nearly 8,900 students start every school day with a nutritious breakfast. To encourage students to take advantage of the healthy choices available with school breakfast, NDS will participate in this year’s National School Breakfast Week (NSBW).
The NSBW campaign theme, “I Heart School Breakfast,” reminds the entire school community that school breakfast provides a healthy and energizing start to the day for students. Students throughout the five-county Archdiocese will be encouraged to show their enthusiasm for “I Heart School Breakfast” from March 5-9 by completing daily NSBW Activity Sheets that encourage students to work through fun puzzles and activities with their classmates.
Brooke Mullen, Assistant Director of Community Relations for NDS said, “Studies show that students who start the day with a well-balanced school breakfast are more likely to be better learners, participate in class, and perform better academically and behaviorally. A balanced meal will also improve children’s daily dietary intake, decrease the risk for food-insecurity, and may protect against negative health outcomes. For many families, there are obstacles to providing a healthy morning meal each day, including lack of time, low budget, or busy schedules. The School Breakfast Program provides critical support to families, and the nourishment children need to start the day off on a successful foot.”
Ms. Mullen went on to say, “For the last 20 years, NDS has participated in the Universal Free Breakfast Program, allowing all students to receive breakfast at no cost to families. This wonderful opportunity allows students to arrive at school, receive a nourishing meal, and focus on learning.”
In 1989, NSBW was launched to raise awareness of the availability of the School Breakfast Program to promote the links between eating a good breakfast, academic achievement, and healthy lifestyles. The “I Heart School Breakfast” campaign is made possible by the nonprofit School Nutrition Association.