No Arkansan should ever go to bed hungry.

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Focusing on School Breakfast

breakfastSince the Arkansas No Kid Hungry campaign began in 2010, increasing school breakfast participation has been a key focus. The benefits to students of getting a nutritious breakfast are many and well documented*. Hungry children can’t learn, and so they begin falling behind their peers, often with life-long consequences. The No Kid Hungry campaign strategy focuses on promoting Breakfast After the Bell programs (Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab & Go and Second Chance) that make breakfast part of the school day. These breakfast delivery models make it easier for free and reduced price eligible kids to eat breakfast by removing the most often cited barriers:

  • Stigma associated with free or reduced priced breakfast in the cafeteria before school
  • Late arrivals at school
  • Finicky eaters who aren’t hungry until later in the morning
  • Time to hang out with peers before the bell rings

Educators tell us they have seen marked improvement in their students’ behavior, concentration, health and attendance since implementing Breakfast After the Bell programs. They’re also telling us that their child nutrition budgets are also getting a boost from the increased breakfast participation. Child nutrition departments often have very narrow margins and end up in the “red” at the end of the year with a shortfall to make up. That, however, seems to be changing.

Data from the Arkansas Department of Education suggests that our efforts to increase school breakfast participation have been successful. Not only are more breakfasts being served to students, but child nutrition budgets are showing positive financial effects as the number of their United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reimbursements increases.



In a state that has gone from #1 in child food insecurity to #5* since becoming a No Kid Hungry campaign proof of concept state, it is gratifying to see that our efforts appear to be making a difference for the children of our state. We look forward to getting definitive data on the academic achievement gains Arkansas students have made since the focus on breakfast was initiated.




SNAP Challenge Day 5

bridgette-caseyBridget here for the last time. The final day of the challenge came as a relief to me. I was so sick of eating the same two or three dishes over and over, and I missed restaurant food dearly. I had an egg on a piece of toast for breakfast, and some grape-nuts in yogurt and honey for lunch. I went out to eat tonight because I was out of tuna, out of ground turkey, and had no eggs left (one had frozen in the refrigerator and one had broken in the egg crate somehow). I thought I had budgeted pretty well, but I came up short.

This week tried me physically and mentally in ways I did not think it would. I had to feel the disappointment of not being able to eat out with friends, the monotony of lunch and dinner (rarely did I even eat breakfast), and the sheer hunger in between meals was terrible. SNAP recipients have to prioritize and budget literally down to the cent. I couldn’t even do it, because, like I said, I ate out tonight because I didn’t have enough groceries for a whole meal.

To think SNAP recipients struggle week-in-and-week-out to make their food assistance dollars last is shocking to me.  I have gained so much empathy and respect for those who do use SNAP regularly. They deal with many more challenges than we realize, and even when we feel hungry, we don’t know hunger the way they do.

Latest News Reports

Hunger on Campus: The Challenge of Food Insecurity for College Students, James Dubick, National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness; Brandon Mathews, College and University Food Bank Alliance; Clare Cady, College and University Food Bank Alliance, October 2016

Did you know?

In 2014, our six Feeding  America  food bank members along with Project Hope distributed 44,032,106 pounds of food to programs and agencies that directly feed Arkansans in need. This is the equivalent of 36,693,421 meals.

Did you know?

More than 1 in 4 Arkansas kids do not get enough to eat.

Did you know?

Text FOOD to 877 877 to find free summer meals sites for kids

Did you know?

Arkansas ranks #1 in senior hunger.

Did you know?

Many elderly Arkansans must choose between buying food or medication.

Did you know?

Almost 500,000 Arkansas residents (1 in 6) receive federal food assistance.

Did you know?

Poverty is the main cause of hunger.

Did you know?

More than 40% of Arkansas people on SNAP are in working families.


The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, through our member food banks, hunger relief agencies, volunteers and corporate partners, is committed to providing programs, food resources, education and advocacy to reduce hunger in Arkansas. Your interest and generosity will help us succeed.

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Find out about upcoming Alliance fundraising events as well as gleaning opportunities, Cooking Matters classes and grocery tours as well as other special events.

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