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PRESS RELEASE

March 3, 2007

Cathy Schroeder
(850) 245-0413

Education Commissioner Blomberg Announces School Breakfast Week
~School breakfast promotes a world of taste~

TALLAHASSEE – Education Commissioner Jeanine Blomberg today announced that school cafeterias across Florida will open their doors March 5 - 9 to welcome children to 2007 National School Breakfast Week. This year’s theme is “A World of School Breakfasts” focusing on breakfast dishes from around the world and the importance of starting each day with a nutritious breakfast.

“There is no better time to remind students and parents of the importance of eating breakfast,” said Commissioner Blomberg. “Research shows that behavioral, emotional, and academic problems are more prevalent among children who are hungry. Academic performance and readiness is enhanced when students start their day with a nutritious meal.”

National School Breakfast Week focuses on the availability of breakfast for students and the strong link between eating a nutritious breakfast and improved academic achievement. Food and Nutrition Management, an office within the Florida Department of Education, is looking to narrow the gap between the number of Florida students missing out on eating breakfast at school in comparison to those students eating school lunch. In Florida, more than 488,000 school breakfast meals are served each day to students, accounting for only 28 percent of the 1.77 million meals served each day.

“Research conducted by the University of Minnesota and Harvard University concludes that students who eat breakfast are more alert, have improved memory and problem-solving skills and perform better on standardized tests: that is why we say school breakfasts provide a link to learning,” said Janey Thornton, M.S., S.N.S., president of the School Nutrition Association.

The School Nutrition Association launched National School breakfast Week in 1989 to raise awareness about the importance of breakfast for students and to highlight the link between eating a good breakfast and cognitive growth. School breakfast provides at least one-fourth of the nutrients needed by a growing child. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, school breakfast program participation is associated with higher intakes of food energy, calcium, phosphorous and vitamin C.

For more information about food and nutrition in Florida schools, visit www.fldoe.org/FNM/.