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Governor Hosts Power Breakfast in Annapolis

March 28, 2012

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Gov. Martin O'Malley is hosting a "power breakfast" at the Maryland State House today to encourage principals to improve their school breakfast programs.

As part of the First Class Breakfast Initiative, says Maryland "No Kid Hungry" campaign director Anne Sheridan, targeted schools will receive grants to implement creative ways to serve breakfast.

"Asking them to think about how their schools offer breakfast to their students, and ways that they can re-engineer it so that it's easier to get."

School bus arrival times can mean no extra time to get to the cafeteria for breakfast, Sheridan says, and some students fear being stigmatized as one of the "poor kids" when receiving breakfast in the cafeteria. Serving breakfast to all students can erase the stigma, she says, adding that other schools around the nation have found ways to counter the morning time crunch.

"Serving breakfast in the classroom, or serving what's called 'grab-and-go.' Take it to your classroom, enjoy your breakfast with your teacher, and also get on with your school day."

Schools which participate in the federal School Breakfast Program are reimbursed for meals.

In its second year, O'Malley is to announce, the First Class Breakfast Initiative has expanded its outreach to 150 schools. The Partnership to End Childhood Hunger in Maryland, the Maryland State Department of Education, Maryland Hunger Solutions and Share Our Strength are joining the governor for today's event.

The initiative is being sponsored by Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States, Walmart and Weight Watchers.

Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MD