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Three in five Maryland teachers report having students who come to school hungry. Teachers and school officials know that students’ attention, performance and behavior are improved when kids get the food they need. That’s made possible when schools make free breakfast a part of the actual school day.

By moving breakfast from the cafeteria before class to the classroom, we make it easier for all kids to eat breakfast so they don’t have to be embarrassed or worry about getting to school early to eat. And when kids eat breakfast, they feel better and learn more, which leads to a stronger, healthier Maryland.

An effective and innovative program called Maryland Meals for Achievement (MMFA) supports free breakfast in the classroom to make sure students start the day ready to learn. Thanks to the support of Governor O’Malley and the Maryland State Department of Education, 271 Maryland schools are now participating in MMFA, more than ever before. Despite its demonstrated success, more than 500 high-need schools are still missing out on MMFA because of the lack of funding.

We have a chance to make sure Maryland's most vulnerable kids have a voice. Legislators will soon take up Governor O'Malley's proposed budget. Join us in asking Governor O’Malley and State Superintendent of Schools Lillian Lowery to make breakfast part of the school day by supporting an increase of $1.8 million for Maryland Meals for Achievement in their 2014 budget.

Sign the petition right now. An investment in breakfast is an investment in education, health and ultimately, the economic success of our state. It’s a simple equation. Breakfast equals success.

Letter to
Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lillian M. Lowery
Maryland Governor
As a Maryland resident, I want to thank you for your commitment to ending childhood hunger. Because of your efforts, 33,000 more Maryland at-risk kids are starting the school day ready to learn, and more kids than ever before are participating in the School Breakfast Program.

As you know too well, kids who don't eat breakfast have a hard time focusing in class, have more health problems and struggle academically overall. By providing our most vulnerable kids with school breakfast, they can do better on tests which can help more kids graduate from high school. That means a stronger workforce and a more competitive economy for the state of Maryland.

Thank you for your leadership of statewide efforts to increase access to school breakfast, especially the Maryland Meals for Achievement (MMFA) program. MMFA, , has been proven to be one of the most effective strategies to ensure that kids in high-need schools start each school day with a nutritious breakfast so they are ready to learn.

Thanks to investments Maryland has made over the last few years, more than 270 schools are currently benefiting from this program.

As you face another year of difficult budget choices, I ask that you please consider continuing to support MMFA as an investment in our children's future.

No Kid Hungry started this petition with a single signature, and now has 16,393 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.