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Action for Healthy Kids® and Walmart Foundation Provide Universal School Breakfast Grants to 385 Schools for the 2015-2016 School Year

CHICAGO (September 22, 2015)  Action for Healthy Kids® (AFHK) will provide more than $700,000 in grants in the 2015-2016 school year to 385 schools in 22 states through its Universal Breakfast for Healthy Kids program funded by the Walmart Foundation. Grants range from $1,000 to $2,500 and provide in-school assistance, technical support and funding for equipment to improve schools’ nutritional environments and increase participation among hungry and malnourished children in the National School Breakfast Program.

As outlined in AFHK’s recently released School Breakfast Impact Report, increasing access to and participation in school breakfast is critical to ensuring students are fueled to take on the days’ lessons. Research shows kids who eat school breakfast are more likely to consume diets adequate or better in key vitamins and minerals, have decreased behavioral problems and tardiness , miss fewer schools days, and show increased cognitive and academic performance . Universal Breakfast for Healthy Kids grants are designed to help administrators launch or expand the universal school breakfast program in under-resourced schools where 60% or more of the students qualify for free and/or reduced-price meals through the federal government’s school meals programs.

“Thanks to the generosity of the Walmart Foundation, we are able to provide critical support to schools in their efforts to serve breakfast to more students through the National School Breakfast program,” said Rob Bisceglie, CEO Action for Healthy Kids. “When schools implement universal breakfast, they remove the stigma around free school meals and ensure all students are receiving vital nutrition at the start of every school day.”

Since 2009, AFHK has helped schools participate in the National School Breakfast program and increase breakfast participation among their students, on average, by 50%. Since 2011, with the Walmart Foundation’s support, AFHK has provided funds and technical support to help schools serve more than 10 million breakfasts to 77,000 students who previously were eligible but did not participate in the National School Breakfast program.

Schools funded this year will be among the first to utilize AFHK’s new online School Portal featuring the 2014 School Health Index (SHI), an online assessment tool developed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to guide school-based obesity prevention and health promotion efforts. AFHK has worked closely with the CDC to offer an abbreviated online version of the SHI that addresses two health topics: nutrition and physical activity. It also includes resources, reporting options, an online action plan, and a HealthierUS School Challenge readiness estimate.

“At a time when studies show that 3.8 million households with children are food insecure , it is essential to provide schools the support and resources they need to help level the playing field when it comes to providing access to school breakfast for all students,” said Karrie Dennison, Director of Hunger and Nutrition for the Walmart Foundation. “Our funding to AFHK is an example of our commitment to fight hunger, provide access to nutrition education, and create a more sustainable food system.”

The Universal Breakfast for Healthy Kids grants are part of more than $1.4 million in school breakfast and physical activity grants awarded by Action for Healthy Kids in the 2015-2016 school year. A complete list of schools funded by AFHK as a result of the Walmart Foundation’s support can be found at www.actionforhealthykids.org/Walmart. To learn more about school breakfast models and learn about AFHK’s impact on school breakfast, visit www.actionforhealthykids.org/Reports. Schools interested in the online School Portal can go here.

About Action for Healthy Kids®
Action for Healthy Kids® is a nationwide grassroots network supporting school-based healthy eating and physical activity improvements that increase academic success. With funding opportunities, expert technical assistance and our flagship program, Game On, we mobilize schools, administrators and parents to develop healthy school environments for children. To learn more about the ways our 90,000+ volunteer network is helping to make Every Kid Healthy™, visit us at www.ActionforHealthyKids.org, on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/act4healthykids) and on Twitter (https://twitter.com/Act4HlthyKids).