Special to the Register & Bee

Danville Public Schools was one of 15 school divisions across the state that received the Dorothy S. McAuliffe School Nutrition Award presented by No Kid Hungry Virginia this November.

This is the second year the Danville system has received the honor.

The award celebrates Virginia school divisions that have gone above and beyond by operating all available federal child nutrition programs and achieving exceptional participation in the school breakfast program. Originally launched in 2017, the award is named in honor of former first lady of Virginia Dorothy McAuliffe, in recognition of her efforts to end childhood hunger in the Commonwealth.

“Virginia has become a national model for ending childhood hunger because of the hard work and innovative approaches of this year’s School Nutrition Award recipients,” McAuliffe said. “We’re thrilled to celebrate this year’s school districts for their ongoing commitment to making sure students can access the meals and other resources they need to succeed.”

To qualify for the award, school divisions met the following criteria:

  • School breakfast: At least 70% of students who qualify for free/reduced meals and eat school lunch also are eating school breakfast.
  • Afterschool meals: Division is sponsoring and serving meals/snacks through the At-Risk Afterschool Child and Adult Care Food Program, if eligible.
  • Summer meals: Division is sponsoring and serving summer meals through the Summer Food Service Program or National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option, if eligible.

“Schools play a critical role in connecting children with the nutrition they need to fuel their bodies and their brains,” said Claire Mansfield, No Kid Hungry Virginia state director. “We’re excited to honor more schools this year. It’s thanks to strong public- private partnerships and commitments from community members, school leadership, teachers and school nutrition teams that we’ve been able to connect more schools — and students — with federal nutrition programs.”

No Kid Hungry Virginia partners with schools and districts to connect eligible children to federal nutrition programs. Programs such as Breakfast After the Bell, afterschool meals and summer meals help feed children throughout the school day and in the summertime.

The nonprofit shares best practices via webinars and educational events, along with expanding access to meal programs through grants. Visit va.nokidhungry.org for more information about No Kid Hungry Virginia’s work.

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