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Governor Roy Cooper
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Hickory Metro Area School Systems Among Those To Receive Breakfast Grants

On Tuesday (February 27), Governor Roy Cooper announced $1.3 million in grants to 42 public school districts and public charter schools across North Carolina to expand access to healthy school breakfast for more than 51,000 students. The NC Innovative School Breakfast Grants were funded through federal funds directed by the Governor in October 2023. Area school systems receiving grants are the Catawba County Schools, Alexander County Schools, and the Iredell-Statesville Schools.

Public schools provide free- or reduced-price meals for children and nearly 60% of North Carolina public school students qualify for free- or reduced-price meals. Many children rely on these school meals for daily nutritional needs. Nearly 1 in 6 children in North Carolina live in households without consistent access to food.

According to a news release from the Governor’s office, these grants are part of the Governor’s ongoing commitment to public education. Governor Cooper has declared 2024 the “Year of Public Schools” and is spending this year highlighting North Carolina’s strong public schools, teachers and staff across the state to show the positive impacts of a well-funded public education system on the state’s economy and communities.

The school districts and charter schools receiving grant funds use the federal Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) to make school meals available to all students at no cost to their families. These districts and charter schools, which represent 258 public schools, were selected through a competitive grant program managed by the Carolina Hunger Initiative and the North Carolina Alliance for Health.

The NC Innovative School Breakfast Grants will go to school districts and charter schools that implement innovative school breakfast models to expand student participation in school breakfast. These models include Breakfast in the Classroom, Second Chance Breakfast, and Grab and Go Breakfast.

The Carolina Hunger Initiative’s mission is to increase access to healthy food year-round for North Carolinians. CHI uses programming, applied research, and compelling communications to support policy, systems, and environmental changes that connect people with the food they need. CHI is based at the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Learn more at www.CarolinaHungerInitiative.org.

The North Carolina Alliance for Health is an independent, nonpartisan, statewide coalition that convenes, mobilizes, supports, and empowers partners to advance equitable policies that reduce health disparities, prevent chronic disease, and promote health. NCAH serves on the leadership team for School Meals for All NC, which is working to ensure that every child in every public school in NC has access to breakfast and lunch at school at no cost to their families. Learn more at www.ncallianceforhealth.org.

[News release courtesy of governor.nc.gov]