LA PLATA, Md. – Several Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students will receive free breakfast during the coming school year, courtesy in part of funding provided by the Maryland Meals for Achievement program.
Schools selected to participate during the 2018-19 school year are: C. Paul Barnhart, Dr. Gustavus Brown, Gale-Bailey, Indian Head, Arthur Middleton, J.C. Parks, J.P. Ryon, Dr. Samuel A. Mudd, Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy and Eva Turner elementary schools, John Hanson, General Smallwood and Benjamin Stoddert middle schools, and the F. B. Gwynn Educational Center.
The program is offered through the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and provides funds that supplement federal reimbursements schools receive from the U.S. Department of Agriculture School Breakfast Program. The program helps to provide students with access to a healthy breakfast, which in turn creates a positive start to a child’s school day.
MSDE has credited the program with improving test scores, behavior, attendance, and overall student well-being. Schools are selected annually by MSDE based on eligibility criteria, previous program participation and the amount of state funding available. MSDE awarded nearly $7.55 million in funds to 485 Maryland schools for the 2018-19 school year.
Last year, CCPS food and nutrition services staff served more than 1.8 million breakfasts, and 2.4 million lunches to students. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kimberly Hill is a firm supporter of providing all children with access to healthy meal choices.
“A nutritious breakfast is beneficial for all students. When kids are hungry, they may find it hard to concentrate. By providing our students with a healthy start to the school day, we are helping to model good eating habits and show children how easy it is to make breakfast a part of their morning routine. Fueling our bodies helps to fuel our minds and the power of learning,” Hill said.
The CCPS school breakfast program has more than doubled throughout the past five years. Since 2011, the system has seen an increase of nearly 1.1 million breakfasts served to students.