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Maryland Day: Crunch Heard Around the State

PHOTO: It's a crunch that will be heard around the state for today's Maryland Day. Students and residents are encouraged to bite into an apple at 10 a.m. to raise awareness about the importance of school breakfast. Credit: Deborah C. Smith
PHOTO: It's a crunch that will be heard around the state for today's Maryland Day. Students and residents are encouraged to bite into an apple at 10 a.m. to raise awareness about the importance of school breakfast. Credit: Deborah C. Smith
March 25, 2014

BALTIMORE - Taking a bite out of hunger will be heard around the state today for Maryland Day. More than 150,000 Marylanders have promised to join schoolchildren for a synchronized "crunch" as they taste apples at 10 a.m., as Michael J. Wilson, director of Maryland Hunger Solutions, explained.

"We want every kid in Maryland to start the day with a healthy, nutritious breakfast," he said. "And by celebrating Maryland Day in this way, we hope to inspire conversations, planning and education about school breakfast."

Governor Martin O'Malley is one of dozens who are leading the "Hear the Crunch" event, and everyone is welcome to join.

Wilson said school breakfast is served to about 57 low-income pupils for every 100 that receive school lunch, and that quality early meal is linked to all kinds of good outcomes, including better test scores and improved attendance.

"We're doing better than we had been and we're doing better than other states," Wilson declared. "But as long as a kid in Maryland doesn't start the day with a healthy, nutritious breakfast, then we know that's a waste for us."

To reach more children, Wilson pointed to programs such as "Breakfast in the Classroom," which removes barriers to participation simply by moving the meal out of the cafeteria. Maryland Hunger Solutions is working with schools around the state to set up more classroom breakfast opportunities.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MD