Over 200 anti-hunger activists from across the country will meet in Washington D-C Saturday for the 2nd annual National Hunger Free Communities Summit. Representatives from Hunger Free Heartland will present on a panel during the summit about school meal programs for children and share information on the best practices. Hunger Free Heartland Director Sue Arment is attending the summit and plans to share with others in the nation that even though Nebraska is in the breadbasket children here are also food insecure.
Arment says Nebraska ranks 47th out of all 50 states in terms of participation in the National School Breakfast Program. That means 37-percent of eligible children are not utilizing the program. She says steps are being taken in the state to increase those numbers. Last October they launched the Nebraska School Breakfast Challenge at the governor’s mansion to challenge school districts statewide to increase participation in the breakfast program or create one. Arment hopes schools will focus on the challenge because it is a key ingredient for success of children.
Arment says there are other challenges in Nebraska. Less then 10% of low income children in the state participate in summer meal programs. However SNAP participation is 62%.
Arment says one in six families with children in the Omaha – Council Bluffs metro area struggled to put food on the table at some point during the past year.