481 Maryland Schools Selected for Free Breakfast Program - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

481 Maryland Schools Selected for Free Breakfast Program

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BALTIMORE - The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has awarded $6.9 million in state funds to 481 selected schools to supplement a federal school breakfast program.

This money will allow the Maryland Meals for Achievement program (MMFA) to reach 240,665 Maryland students this school year.

Maryland Meals for Achievement provides in-classroom breakfast to all students in participating schools at no charge regardless of family income. Students eat at their desks while teachers take attendance and go about their morning activities.

"We have made the choice to drive down childhood hunger in this State, and the Maryland Meals for Achievement Program is a proven winner for our students," Governor Martin O'Malley said. "Better nutrition means better learning, and better learning means a better future for all of our children." Gov. O'Malley says he is committed to ending childhood hunger in Maryland by 2015.

State funding for the MMFA program increased by $1.7 million for this school year. This gives 122 more schools the ability to provide in-classroom breakfast to students.

“Having access to a healthy, nutritious breakfast prepares students for their academic day and ensures they start the school day ready to learn,” State Superintendent of Schools Lillian Lowery said.

Maryland law requires geographic and socioeconomic balance in the schools selected for the program. Past participation in MMFA and the priorities of county food and nutrition service directors are also taken into account when making selections.

School administrators and teachers credit the MMFA program with improving student test scores, behavior and wellbeing. Parents praise the program as a way for their children to prepare for their academic day.

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