Lunch program urges students to eat breakfast

By Staff
Nathan Strickland
The Russellville city and Franklin County schools lunchrooms have climbed aboard the “School Breakfast-Ready Set Go!” program to teach students the importance of eating a healthy school breakfast and demonstrate how eating a good breakfast prepares students for a busy day at school.
Numerous studies show breakfast can improve a student’s memory, test scores, school attendance and cuts down on visits to the school nurse. Unfortunately, many kids miss the “most important meal of the day” because they are always in a hurry.
Studies also show the program has fueled more than 10.6 million students for success and provides the necessary energy to start a day of learning and achievement, establishing 25 percent of the daily recommended allowance of protein, calcium, iron, Vitamins A and C and calories meeting the dietary guidelines for Americans.
Russellville city schools Child nutrition director Elaine Vaughn said the morning chaos at home could possibly be the reason why parents don’t push their kids to eat a wholesome breakfast.
The breakfast campaign, created by the non-profit School Nutrition Association with support from General Mills Foodservice, culminates during National School Breakfast Week, March 8-12.
According to Vaughn, the program is critical to maintaining the health and well being of children who are eligible for free or reduced price meals and provides a great alternative for children who don’t want to eat breakfast at home.
Russellville Mayor Troy Oliver said these types of programs help out those children who qualify for the free or reduced lunch programs. According to Oliver, 6,500 meals were prepared for those programs in the school systems last year, which is an increase from 5,500 in previous years.
One of Oliver’s main concerns is what happens to those students in the program over the summer.
RCS lunchroom leaders agree with Oliver that some kids really need these serving stations.
As far as the breakfast program is concerned, The National School Breakfast Week has been raising awareness and displaying the links between eating a good breakfast, academic achievements and healthy lifestyles since 1989.