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WHEREAS,Virginia is dedicated to the health and wellness of our Commonwealth’s children and is committed to expanding access to healthy meals for school children; and
WHEREAS, the School Nutrition Association of Virginia supports strong federal nutrition standards for school meals, including the increased access to a greater quantity and variety of fruits and vegetables; and
WHEREAS, the National School Breakfast Program has served our nation admirably since it was permanently established in 1975; and
WHEREAS, over ten million more breakfasts were served in Virginia during the 2016-2017 school year, compared to the 2013-2014 school year; and
WHEREAS, students who participate in school breakfast do better in math, have better attendance records, perform better on standardized tests, generally have fewer discipline problems, are more likely to interact with their teachers and peers, and graduate on-time, in comparison to students who do not eat school breakfast; and
WHEREAS, alternative delivery models that allow for eating breakfast after the bell, such as Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab and Go, and Second Chance have proven to increase school breakfast participation; and
WHEREAS, Virginia’s 2016 Breakfast Budget Amendment has helped schools move to alternative delivery models and has led to an additional 2.8 million breakfasts served in participating schools; and
WHEREAS, this year’s theme, “I Heart School Breakfast,” is a collaborative initiative between The Department of Education’s Office of School Nutrition Programs, First Lady Pamela Northam, No Kid Hungry Virginia, School Nutrition Association of Virginia, Virginia Hunger Solutions, Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, Southeastern United Dairy Industry Associates, American Dairy Association North East and others to promote the need for children to start their day with a healthy meal; and
WHEREAS, National School Breakfast Week is an opportunity to recognize the importance of making informed decisions about food choices every day, and the need for continued nutrition education and access to enhance healthy eating practices;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 5-9, 2018, as NATIONAL SCHOOL BREAKFAST WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.