Half of teachers report student hunger in classrooms

Nine in 10 educators believe serving breakfast will solve this problem.

Sept. 11—Teachers spend $37 a month of their own money buying food for hungry students.

That’s $300 a school year or roughly five tanks of gas.

“Child hunger is a serious problem that negatively affected my students’ self-esteem, ability to learn, and behavior,” Princess Moss, an elementary school teacher from Virginia and National Education Association Executive Committee member, says. “I would always keep snacks in my class for students that were hungry and who were having trouble concentrating during instructional time.”

It turns out the only meal he ate every day was his free lunch at school. His family couldn’t afford breakfast or dinner.A new report, “Hunger In Our Schools: Teachers Report 2013,” by Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign was released on Tuesday showing an “on-the-ground view of hunger” from 1,200 teachers and principals of kindergarten through eighth grade.

And the picture isn’t pretty.  

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
vote buttons pins

On every other Thursday of our four-week cycle menu, we allow K-8 students to pick the entree choices. The media center specialist for each of the participating schools sets up the list of entree items on a computer for voting, and the winning entrees are given to cafeteria managers two weeks before the upcoming month to put into production. Students really like this, as it promotes ownership of the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chalkboard

We highlight our North Carolina products on a large chalkboard in our dining halls, and also list any produce we bring in from our own agroecology farm. It helps tell our story—positive and local.

Ideas and Innovation
raised garden beds

We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chartwells teaching kids

Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

Earlier this year, Saidel, Perkins and Harvey did a student demo featuring roasted chicken and white bean tacos with greens and citrus salsa. “We can say, ‘Why are we using chicken instead of beef? Why are there some beans in here?’ You can talk about plant proteins and the sustainability and health message around...

FSD Resources