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Former Senator George McGovern Joins New York City Coalition Against Hunger to Honor got breakfast?(R) Founder Gary Davis, Speaker Christine Quinn, and WNBC Reporter Melissa Russo

Friday, May 7, 2010 General News J E 4
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'14 million in-need children not being reached in federal school breakfast programs' - Senator George McGovern

NEW YORK, May 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Former Senator George McGovern was the featured speaker at the New York City Coalition Against Hunger (NYCCAH) Spring Event, honoring Gary Davis, Founder of the got breakfast? Foundation, Christine Quinn, Speaker of New York City Council and Melissa Russo, WNBC Anchor.  The event, held Monday night at Union Square in New York City, included elected officials, public spokespeople, and advocates who together urged all levels of government to take the lead in ending hunger in New York City.

(Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100507/CG00514)

The evening highlighted the important work that McGovern, Quinn, Russo, and Davis have accomplished.  Senator McGovern focused his speech upon the 22 million children, many of whom are from low income families, that are eligible to receive school breakfast each day in our nation's public schools.  McGovern cited a Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) 2009 report which indicated that there are still some 14 million eligible in-need children, not being reached in our schools' breakfast programs.  McGovern went on to state that many of these children are recognized by the USDA as living in food insecure households.

"You cannot expect to educate a child on an empty stomach nor can you expect that child to reach his physical and mental potential without providing a balanced nutritious breakfast each day," said McGovern. "Allowing these 14 million children in need to continue not to be reached with breakfast each day leads to obesity, low energy, inability to function in the education environment and in many cases hunger."

McGovern stated that there is a guaranteed solution – universal mandated classroom breakfast.  Simply instituting classroom breakfast in limited schools and classrooms has not and will not achieve the objective of reaching the maximum in-need children with breakfast each day.   McGovern concluded his address by urging all those with a vested stake in school breakfast including the foodservice workers, parents, school administrators and politicians to join the choir and let the total well-being of our nation's children become their legacy.

NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn referenced the 95 percent-plus participation that Newark, N.J., realizes from a mandatory classroom breakfast initiative.  However, at this point classroom breakfast in NYC is selective and not mandatory, thus overall NYC breakfast participation is still less than 25 percent, leaving over 500,000 inner-city, in-need kids not being reached with school breakfast.

Gary Davis, Founder of got breakfast? explained, "It's our mission to help ensure that every child, regardless of background, starts the school day with a nutritious breakfast in order to learn, grow and develop to his or her fullest potential. We aim to help increase access to breakfast programs to fight obesity, raise test scores and improve overall health."

"George McGovern's lifetime of fighting hunger at home and abroad has saved more lives from starvation than any American alive today. Christine Quinn, Gary Davis, and Melissa Russo have picked up the anti-hunger ball for their generations and have also achieved significant progress," said Joel Berg, executive director of NYCCAH.  For more information about NYCCAH, visit their website at www.nyccah.org.

SOURCE got breakfast? Foundation; NYCCAH

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