Millions of children in the U.S. don’t have enough food to eat at home, so school means a guaranteed meal.
Now some districts are finding ways to go even further, feeding every child regardless of income.
“Wash your hands, wash your hands,” sings Mrs. Whittet.
Welcome to Mrs. Whittet’s preschool classroom.
“Yes I am coming Charlie,” she answers.
Preschool teacher at Waverly, Mary Whittet says although school just started for these energized 4-year olds last month, already there’s a difference in the way her students focus.
She credits that to eating a healthy lunch each day.
“They’re not starving as much because they enjoy what they eat and it’s a hot meal for them,” says Whittet.
For the first time, this year all students at Waverly Community Schools are offered a free breakfast and free lunch.
“They could have the choice between little ceasers pizza and a cheeseburger,” says Whittet.
Helping those families who may need a little extra help themselves and taking one less worry away from a hungry child.
“We want them to feel safe and comfortable so they’re ready to learn every day,” says Waverly Superintendent, Kelly Blake.
Waverly Superintendent, Kelly Blake says the district was approved for a federal grant that provides meal assistance to schools in low-income areas.
Already teachers have seen an increase in students eating hot lunch.
Teachers say the number of meals being given out has tripled.
Getting the nutrition they need to pay attention the rest of the day.
“We’re happy that students have this opportunity and they don’t have to worry about food,” says Blake.
“Did you want something to eat,” Whittet asks a student.
A question that will no longer go un-answered and one that Mrs. Whittet says will make sure no student goes hungry.
“Sometimes they bring a cold lunch but don’t eat the whole thing. This way we know that they are ya know really getting something that they like,” says Whittet.
Not only will the free food help students, but it will also help families in the district.
By taking advantage of free lunches it can save a family around 400-600 dollars per child per year.