In Gaston County, ‘Children Can’t Learn If They’re Hungry’

Gaston Gazette

Gaston’s public school system has received a state grant that aims to have more students eating breakfast at school.

Elementary, middle and high schools in Gaston County serve daily breakfast items of assorted fresh fruit and cereal, along with offerings including milk, sausage biscuit, cereal, French toast, Belgian waffle and scrambled eggs. School cafeterias begin serving breakfast about a half-hour before the first class bell rings.

But while about 60 percent of kids districtwide eat lunch at school, just under 30 percent, on average, are eating breakfast. It’s something that Director of School Nutrition Angela Calamia calls the “breakfast gap.”

“One of the reasons is that they eat at home,” said Calamia. “They may get to school late and not have time to eat breakfast for whatever reason. Sometimes it’s not convenient–the cafeteria is on one side of the building and they’re coming in somewhere else.”

It’s a similar situation across other North Carolina public school districts, one the state is working to remedy by implementing different methods to serve breakfast in schools.

So Gov. Roy Cooper announced this week that Gaston County Schools is among 10 North Carolina school districts to receive grant funding through No Kid Hungry and The Dairy Alliance to implement innovative breakfast pilot programs in one or more schools each.

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