KCKPS students gets free breakfast with help from Walmart Foundation

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Posted: 08/24/2012

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - This year, students at 13 Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools buildings will be eating breakfast for free.

It's part of a $5 million dollar grant from the Walmart foundation.

KCKPS qualified for the grant because more than 11,000 kids in Kansas City, Kan., or 26 percent, qualify for federally funded school breakfast programs but don't participate.

Teachers say that’s because they don't want to be labeled as low-income.

Yet now, with breakfast served in the classroom instead of the lunchroom, kids don't have to feel embarrassed about eating the free food.

At Wyandotte High School, 85 percent of kids are taking part in the program.

The menu is basic: an entree, milk and a piece of fruit or juice.

The Walmart foundation used a $5 million grant to fund the program.

It's free for students, and open to all kids.

Friday, 2nd grader On'Yia King said that she is grateful for the program because she rarely eats breakfast at home.

"I don't eat breakfast (at home) because my mommy has to hurry up and get to her job", King said.

Her principal Angela Wright from Banneker Elementary chimed in, "Often the parents are running to work and even if they have food available at home, don't have time to eat it. Now when they come to school they're guaranteed a free breakfast."

We've heard it for years-- that breakfast helps your brain function better in the morning, but teachers in Kansas City, Kansas say it's true. Teachers say the kids are focusing and getting to class on time because they don't have to grab fast food on the way to school.

Even school nurses say fewer kids are coming in to see them, because most of them had headaches or stomach aches simply because they were hungry.

According to Feeding America’s “Map the Meal Gap” study, one in four children in Kansas and Missouri live in food-insecure homes, meaning there simply isn’t enough food in their cupboards at home.

Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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