Charleston, WV - March 27, 2013 - West Virginia Senate Majority Leader John Unger, (D-Berkeley), announced that the Select Committee on Children and Poverty has originated a bill creating the West Virginia Feed to Achieve Act.
"The West Virginia Feed to Achieve Act commits us to making sure no child in West Virginia goes hungry," said Senator John Unger, Chairman of the Select Committee, "From birth to eight years of age is the most crucial time in child development, and this bill will provide essential nutrition to young children."
The legislation brings together the State Board of Education, State Department of Agriculture and State Department of Health and Human Resources in order to increase student participation in nutritious, lunch and breakfast programs. The bill will also maximize the access to available federal funds, while providing a way for individuals, communities and businesses to contribute funds which would be used exclusively to purchase food for children.
"Last school year, only about 36% of students participated in school breakfast programs and only about 65% of students participated in school lunch programs statewide," said Unger, "These numbers should be a cause for alarm. Research shows that children who eat breakfast have increased standardized test scores; improved attendance; reduced tardiness; improved academic, behavioral and emotional functioning; and are less likely to become obese. If we want to have student achievement that leads to a healthy workforce, it must start here and right now with healthy students."