This year, the United States reached a painful milestone. For the first time ever, over half the public school students in this country are from low-income families.

This is the story of poverty and hunger in our nation’s schools, as witnessed every day by teachers, principals and staff.

This is also the story of a solution.

Coming to School Hungry

3 out of 4 public school teachers say that students regularly come to school hungry. 81% say it happens at least once a week.

“The hardest part of being a teacher? Watching my students fail. Knowing that they didn’t have what they needed to succeed.”

— Audrey Harris, elementary school teacher

Hunger doesn’t just hurt kids. It hurts us all.

“The problem of hunger leads to all these other problems. It has a snowball effect. These students fall behind and they never really catch up.”

— Tony Notarides, elementary school teacher

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“Hunger is causing the demise of an entire generation that has so much potential. These children are fighting for their lives daily.”

— Wintor McNeel, guidance counselor

Every Kid Needs Breakfast

Educators agree that kids need to start the day with a healthy breakfast in order to do well in school. But though nearly every school offers breakfast, 50% of teachers still say the problem has increased.

How do breakfast programs fail?

They’re Too Early

They Embarrass Kids

A New Approach to Breakfast

Some schools have figured out better ways to feed kids.

Here’s the simple, effective solution:

Serve breakfast as part of the school day, instead of in the cafeteria, early in the morning before school begins.

With breakfast, educators see a profound change for the better.

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see kids paying better attention in class

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see improved attendance

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see fewer disciplinary problems

Breakfast is the Answer

“This is the first year we’ve had a free breakfast program [in the classroom] for all students. Not only are we feeding their physical needs, we're feeding their emotional needs. The light turns on; they’re able to function in the classroom.”

— Margot Shaver, elementary school teacher

“This is America. We have tons of food. It makes no sense for people to go hungry.”

— Robbie Butler, elementary school teacher

The food is there.
The funding already exists.
All we need to change is the way we feed America’s kids.

This is a problem we know how to solve.

The first step in ending childhood hunger is letting others know it exists.

Your support of No Kid Hungry helps bring school breakfast to more kids.


You can take action today for kids in your community. We’ll tell you how.

The data presented here comes from ’Hunger in Our Schools’, a national research project by No Kid Hungry.
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