Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to hunger relief and healthy eating. In late 2014, the Walmart Foundation provided a generous gift of $43,255 to Valley of the Sun United Way to support its Breakfast in the Classroom program.
Research shows when young children experience even occasional hunger, they may have trouble concentrating, have stunted growth or suffer from other health concerns, including increased risk of obesity.
Serving breakfast in the classroom, at the beginning of the school day, is proving to be one of the most effective ways to increase access to breakfast for thousands of chronically hungry children in our community. Breakfast is brought into each classroom in containers that keep the food hot or cold. Healthy food options are provided during regular morning tasks, including taking attendance and other educational activities.
Grant funds from the Walmart Foundation are providing support to ten elementary schools within several school districts, in Maricopa County. Dollars are helping schools implement the Breakfast in the Classroom program through the purchase of much-needed supplies including large carts to transport breakfast food items to classrooms, trash bins to remove waste and carpet extractors to keep classrooms clean.
Several local schools have rolled out successful programs and are seeing the tremendous benefits of serving breakfast in the classroom. For example, Tuscano Elementary School switched from breakfast served in the cafeteria to the classroom and grew from serving breakfasts to 150 students per day, to serving approximately 700 per day.
Even more promising, teachers at Tuscano reported they are “seeing children eager to be on time so they don’t miss out on BIC [Breakfast in the Classroom] time.” Teachers also shared students enjoy the breakfast items that are served and enjoy eating together as a class while they are doing some pre-work.
In addition, teachers have seen less behavioral interruptions during the first hour of class and the students are paying more attention. More and more evidence is showing that making breakfast a part of the school day can spell success for students, leading to better health and greater educational achievements.
United Way thanks the Walmart Foundation for its generous gift and applauds its continued efforts in fighting hunger in our community!
Target Foundation supports United Way’s School Readiness Kits (SRKs) program.
Helios invests in the transformative power of education.