Suitland, Maryland (March 25, 2014) — In an effort to raise awareness of how school breakfast can alleviate childhood hunger, the Prince George’s County Food Equity Council has partnered with Maryland Hunger Solutions to participate in a Hear the Maryland Crunch! event at Suitland Elementary School. Hear the Maryland Crunch! is a fun and educational event that includes a state-wide, synchronized bite into an apple. Schools and other partners across the state are participating in this event to spread the word that every child in Maryland should have access to a healthy breakfast.

Food Equity Council members will “crunch” with students at Suitland Elementary School to highlight the school’s successful Maryland Meals for Achievement program, a universal school breakfast program. Suitland Elementary Principal Pamela Preston shares, “Breakfast in the classroom has gone well for us. Teachers and students are receptive. I am pleased because it offers students in need another opportunity to be fed without embarrassment.”

The Prince George’s County Food Equity Council is local food policy council whose mission is to significantly improve public health, food security, and community well-being of all who live, work, study, worship and play in the County. The Council recognizes that nearly 13% of all Maryland households struggle with hunger, and lack access to adequate food to help them live an active and healthy life, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Increasing participation in School Breakfast – which reaches 56.5 of low-income students in Maryland for every 100 students that receive school lunch – would help end childhood hunger, as well as boost learning and test scores, improve attendance and student behavior, and improve overall student health.

“School breakfast is a win-win-win for schools, families, and kids. Children who start the day with a healthy meal have improved academic, behavioral, and health outcomes and eating school breakfast helps families stretch tight food budgets and schedules,” says Sydney Daigle, Prince George’s County Food Equity Council Coordinator.

Food Equity Council members will “crunch” at 7:50 am at Suitland Elementary School, 4650 Homer Avenue, Suitland, MD 20746. The Prince George’s County Food Equity Council is incubated within the Institute for Public Health Innovation and funded by a CDC Community Transformation Grant. For more information about the Food Equity Council and its three workgroups, Anti-Hunger and Obesity Prevention, Healthy Food Retail, and Local Food Production, email [email protected]. For more information about Hear the Maryland Crunch! contact Michael J. Wilson, Director of Maryland Hunger Solutions at 410.528.0021, x27 or [email protected].

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