Back to School: Nourishing Brains and Bellies


By Jake Frydman
Outreach Specialist

As Kansas children head back to school, they return to an environment designed to foster growth in their developing brains. Many kids, however, also look forward to the return of a different kind of nourishment that is far too often absent over the summer months. The kind of nourishment for growing bodies that comes from regular, healthy meals at breakfast and lunch.

Recognizing the vital importance of this secondary function of Kansas schools for thousands of Kansas children and families, Kansas Action for Children has partnered with the Food Research & Action Center and Kansas Appleseed in an effort to increase access to school breakfast and lunch for Kansas kids.

To achieve this goal, we have published and promoted materials to inform Superintendents across Kansas about programs and opportunities available to schools and school districts that help ensure all Kansas children get the healthy meals they need to be successful in the classroom.

Programs like Breakfast in the Classroom encourage schools to offer breakfast during the first class of the day, rather than before school. Serving breakfast before the bell means many students who rely on busses or long walks are often unable to arrive in time for the most important meal of the day.

The Community Eligibility Provision helps address the issue of unfiled paperwork that often stands between a hungry kid and a hot meal at lunch. When adopted, this provision allows schools with a large percentage of children on free and reduced lunch status to offer free lunch to all students.

Programs such as these improve the Kansas school experience for everyone. No hungry kids means fewer distractions in the classroom, better attendance, improved performance, and an enriched learning experience for all.

If you want to learn more about how to get these programs implemented at your school, please contact us at, because even one hungry kid in Kansas is one too many.

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