Expanding breakfast first step in West Virginia school feeding effort

Feed to Achieve Act passed this month; students should see effects in fall.

May 16—Students should notice West Virginia's ambitious new plan to target child hunger while improving academic performance when they arrive this fall.

Expanding access to breakfast is likely the first component of the Feed to Achieve Act that will emerge following its signing by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin earlier this month, said Richard Goff, executive director of the Office of Child Nutrition at the state Department of Education.

A nearly unanimous Legislature passed the new law this session. It aims to provide free, nutritious breakfast and lunch for all public school students, from prekindergarten through 12th grade. The measure cited research that links healthy eating to improved student attendance, attentiveness, behavior, test scores and overall achievement.