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Grab an Apple and Get Ready for the "Crunch Heard Around the State"

More than 800,000 students in schools across Maryland are set to take a synchronized crunch into an apple at 9:15 Wednesday morning. While not just for students, the Hear the Maryland Crunch Initiative is intended to promote school breakfast. Credit: Sipa/Pixabay.com.
More than 800,000 students in schools across Maryland are set to take a synchronized crunch into an apple at 9:15 Wednesday morning. While not just for students, the Hear the Maryland Crunch Initiative is intended to promote school breakfast. Credit: Sipa/Pixabay.com.
March 24, 2015

BALTIMORE - More than 800,000 students in school districts across Maryland, along with Catholic schools in Baltimore, are set to take a synchronized crunch into an apple at 9:15 Wednesday morning.

The Hear the Maryland Crunch initiative promotes school breakfast, along with the message that every child in Maryland should have access to a healthy breakfast every day.

Michael J. Wilson, director of Maryland Hunger Solutions, says a nutritious start to the day is also part of the fight against childhood obesity.

"This is really meant to symbolize how everyone should start the day with a healthy breakfast, especially kids," he says. "School breakfast programs are critical in that regard."

Nearly 57 percent of low-income students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches in Maryland are also served breakfast at school. Wilson says the goal is to boost that rate to at least 70 percent.

According to Wilson, one way to increase participation is for schools to move breakfast out of the cafeteria and into the classroom, or offer grab-and-go options in school hallways. He adds that the benefits of breakfast for students are well-documented.

"Success academically, health-wise, socially, attendance," he says. "It's a win-win-win for all of us."

Wilson notes the Maryland Crunch isn't just for students. Everyone in the state is invited to bite into an apple Wednesday morning, and share photos on social media with the hashtag #HearTheCrunch.

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