While most kids can look forward to a carefree summer of sun and fun, for too many children the end of the school year means they are hungry. During the academic year, 22 million kids receive free and reduced-priced breakfasts and lunches through their schools, relying on them as their primary source of nutrition.
It’s a shocking reality that, in the wealthiest country in the world, for many kids, their school is the most dependable source of food that they have throughout the week. During weekends, holidays and the summer when schools are closed, that reliable source of nutrition is no longer available. It becomes harder for parents to make ends meet during the summer months, when grocery expenses alone can increase by more $300 per month. And when school lets out for the summer, only 3.8 million kids participate in summer meal programs. That means 86% of those eligible may not have regular access to nutritious meals during the summer months. By any measure, this is unacceptable.
We know how important it is for kids to eat healthy. Parents and educators strive to ensure children have access to healthy options at home and at school — but what about in their communities?
Sodexo has partnered with the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) to make sure we have healthy choices in all the food service facilities we oversee, including community venues where families spend their leisure time, such as aquariums, museums and zoos. (more…)
In the coming weeks we’ll see a new generation of youth graduate and move into higher education classrooms and the workforce. At this nostalgic and celebratory time of year, how are we helping to ensure we’re building a healthy, high-achieving generation of youth to follow? At GENYOUth, we view youth themselves as the solution to the current challenges of health and wellness in schools and communities – a role kids have always played in American life.
Only half of our nation’s students who qualify for free or reduced-price school breakfast are actually getting one. School teachers and principals in America see too many students who are too hungry to learn. A nutritious breakfast can be important not only for growth and development, but also may help students reach their full academic potential.
Today, I had the privilege of participating in the 2015 Building a Healthier Future Summit hosted by the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA). The summit offers a unique opportunity for public, private and non-profit leaders to come together to address one of the single biggest issues facing our children, our families, our communities and the future of our country – childhood obesity.