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PRESS RELEASE

August 30, 2006

Cathy Schroeder
(850) 245-0413

Commissioner Winn Promotes the Importance of School Breakfast
Schools gearing up to start the day with a nutritious meal

TALLAHASSEE — Education Commissioner John L. Winn today encouraged students throughout Florida to start their day with a healthy breakfast. The Department of Education's "Excellence Begins with Breakfast" campaign encourages schools and students to participate in school breakfast programs.

"The beginning of a new year is a great opportunity for schools to launch the school breakfast program," said Commissioner Winn. "Research shows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. There is a clear link between eating a healthy breakfast and being ready to learn."

Research shows that children who eat breakfast have improved memory, problem-solving skills, verbal fluency and creative abilities. Studies also suggest that skipping breakfast contributes to obesity, particularly among adolescents.

Traditional meals served in the school cafeteria are still the most popular. However, many schools are now reaching out to provide meals in new ways such as offering breakfast in the classroom or "grab-n-go" meals from moving carts or kiosks. All are convenient, quick ways to ensure students enjoy a nutritious, balanced breakfast and start their day on the right foot.

All public elementary and many secondary schools in Florida offer a school breakfast program with nutritious foods to all students. Students who qualify for free- or reduced-price lunches also qualify for free- or reduced-price breakfast. In Florida, approximately 500,000 school breakfast meals are served to students as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's School Breakfast Program.

To learn more about the School Breakfast Program, visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/ or contact your local school.