Governor, First Lady announce 10 million meal increase in statewide school breakfast program

Gov. Terry McAuliffe and First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe visit Suburban Park Elementary School in Norfolk on Sept. 20, 2017. Credit: Terry McAuliffe/@TerryMcAuliffe

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Gov. Terry McAuliffe and First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe were in Hampton Roads Wednesday morning to discuss the importance of school breakfast programs.

The  governor and first lady were seen serving breakfast to students at the school.

Gallery: Governor, First Lady Visit to Suburban Park Elementary

Suburban Park participates in Breakfast After the Bell — a program that increases access to school breakfast by bringing it outside the cafeteria and making it part of the school day.

During their visit to Suburban Park Elementary School, Gov. Terry McAuliffe and First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe announced that over 10 million more school breakfasts were served to Virginia students during the 2016-2017 school year compared to the 2013-14 school year.

On average, over 50,000 more students are eating breakfast each day, and for the first time in Virginia, more than 60 percent of free and reduced price eligible students who eat lunch also eat breakfast at school each day.

“School meals are essential for Virginia’s students to succeed, and they’re key to our efforts to build a 21st century workforce,” said Gov. McAuliffe.

The McAuliffe administration increased the resources available to help divisions expand access to school breakfast. $2.7 million was appropriated in the governor’s budget over three years to help schools transition to alternative models for school breakfast.

“Now more than ever, we are proving the connection between school meals and student success, and today’s announcement means that those benefits are quickly spreading to more and more Virginia communities,” First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe said.

First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe has made it her top priority to end childhood hunger in Virginia by connecting schools with federal nutrition programs that ensure every student has access to healthy food.

Her partnership with the No Kid Hungry Virginia campaign has resulted in millions more school meals served to Virginia students at no cost to them.