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Morning Snack Program Takes Edge Off Classroom Hunger

March 15, 2013


“Most of our kids come to school hungry every day,” says Chris Telles, known as “Mr. Chris” to his students, a teacher and literacy specialist at Daniel Webster Elementary School in the Potrero Hill neighborhood in San Francisco.

In an effort to end childhood hunger, the Food Bank’s Morning Snack Program operates in 35 sites including Daniel Webster Elementary. Healthy snacks such as apples, carrots and string cheese are distributed Monday through Friday at high-need public schools where at least 50 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.
 
“They would keep asking, ‘Mr. Chris, when are we going to eat lunch?’ I don’t get those questions anymore.”


Snacks help kids focus

“I’ve definitely seen a difference in my class as a result of the snacks — the kids are able to concentrate. They aren’t as distracted.” Prior to the Morning Snack Program, Mr. Chris’ students had difficulty in the hours before lunchtime. “It was hard for them to concentrate. They would keep asking, ‘Mr. Chris, when are we going to eat lunch?’ I don’t get those questions anymore.”
 

With hunger removed, learning begins

For students who haven’t had enough breakfast or who may not get a breakfast at home, healthy snacks are a game changer — they remove the distraction of hunger, which has no place in the classroom. 
 
“The Morning Snack Program helps to hold them over until the next meal, so they can focus more on learning and less on their empty stomachs,” Mr. Chris said.