2015 Maryland Breakfast Challenge Announces 13 Winners

March 7, 2016

Franklin Middle School Wins Grand Prize, Including Celebration Event, Cash and Teacher’s Lounge Makeover

Baltimore, Md. – No Kid Hungry Maryland, in partnership with the Maryland State Department of Education and other anti-hunger advocates from across the state, today announced 13 winners of the Maryland Breakfast Challenge. The winners from districts across Maryland and a statewide winner were awarded prizes, including cash and in-school celebrations. The grand prize winner, Franklin Middle School, will celebrate with a breakfast event on Friday morning, where they will be awarded with a $5,000 cash prize and a Teacher’s Lounge Makeover.

Reaching no kid hungry starts with breakfast. Students can’t learn on an empty stomach, but in the past too many Maryland students have missed out on school breakfast. During the 2015-2016 school year, schools across Maryland implemented innovative solutions to connect more students with breakfast and win prizes in the Maryland Breakfast Challenge. Across the state, 231 schools took the Challenge and made sure more students had the opportunity to start their day with a healthy school breakfast. The statewide winner, Franklin Middle School, served on average 106 more breakfasts per day during the challenge by using a grab and go breakfast model that reduces the stigma around children receiving free meals. 

“Schools across Maryland have demonstrated incredible creativity and persistence in finding ways to overcome the barriers that have kept too many kids from getting the breakfast they need each day,” said David Sloan, director of No Kid Hungry Maryland. “From Saint Mary’s to Baltimore to Montgomery counties, schools have dug in and made breakfast a part of the school day.”

Statewide Grand Prize Winner: Franklin Middle School, Baltimore County

Statewide MMFA Winner: Ridgely Elementary School, Caroline County

Other Prize Winners:

Mechanicsville Elementary School, Carroll County

Oakdale Middle School, Frederick County

Northern Middle School, Garrett County

Harpers Choice Middle School, Howard County

Brookhaven Elementary School, Montgomery County

Laurel Elementary School, Prince George's County

Matapeake Elementary School, Queen Anne County

Town Creek Elementary School, St. Mary's County

Chapel District Elementary School, Talbot County

Smithburg Elementary School, Washington County

Creative City Public Charter School, Baltimore City

Our goal this year was to impart to our middle school students that eating a healthy breakfast improves attention, concentration, academic achievement and physical energy.” Said Charlyne Maul, Principal of Franklin Middle School. “If you know teenagers, then you know that it’s not easy to get them to believe that adults know what they are talking about. So we had to make grab and go breakfast fun and quick as well as social. We did that… and now our students have found value in the fact that a healthy breakfast can be quick and easy plus optimize their mental and physical wellness.”

Statewide, an overwhelming three out of five public school educators say they have children in their classrooms who regularly come to school hungry because they’re not getting enough to eat at home, according to the 2015 Hunger In Our Schools Report. Many educators say that traditional school breakfast – served in the cafeteria, early in the morning before the bell rings – isn’t always effective. No Kid Hungry Maryland has promoted a solution that works: breakfast served as part of the regular school day. For classroom teachers, students who are well-fed are able to focus, function and achieve academic success.

Since beginning work in Maryland in 2008, No Kid Hungry Maryland has connected over 96,000 students in need to school breakfasts and helped transform the current breakfast model in schools across the state. This work was accomplished by introducing innovative solutions and bringing together a coalition of dedicated partners to break down barriers to consistent nutritious food by connecting with kids in need where they live, learn and play.

The 2015-16 Maryland School Breakfast Challenge Partners included the No Kid Hungry Maryland, the Maryland State Department of Education, Action for Healthy Kids, Family League of Baltimore, Maryland Hunger Solutions, Maryland State Education Association and the Mid Atlantic Dairy Association.

For a full list of winners by county and more information on the Maryland Breakfast Challenge, please visit www.MarylandBreakfastChallenge.org  

About No Kid Hungry 

No child should go hungry in America, but 1 in 5 kids will face hunger this year. Using proven, practical solutions, No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger today by ensuring that kids start the day with a nutritious breakfast and families learn the skills they need to shop and cook on a budget. When we all work together, we can make sure kids get the healthy food they need. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of national anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength. Join us at NoKidHungry.org.