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Mr. J. Scott Smith, Superintendent of Schools, 301-475-5511, ext. 32178

LEONARDTOWN, MD – Busy weekday mornings make it a challenge for families to find time for a healthy breakfast. However, US Department of Agriculture data show that more students are starting their day with a nutritious breakfast in their school cafeterias. To encourage more families to take advantage of the healthy choices available with school breakfast, St. Mary's County Public Schools will recognize National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) during March 6-10, 2017.

The following events will be held during this week:

• Monday, March 6th, 2017 - 8:15 a.m. - #NSBW17 Kickoff Celebration at Hollywood Elementary School
• Tuesday, March 7th, 2017 - 9:00 a.m. - “Hear the Maryland CRUNCH” at White Marsh Elementary School
• Wednesday, March 8th, 2017 - 8:15 a.m. - “Come to the Café for a Parfait” at Captain Walter Francis Duke Elementary School
• Thursday, March 9th, 2017 - 8:15 a.m. – Maryland Meals for Achievement Appreciation at Lexington Park Elementary School
• Friday, March 10th, 2017 - NSBW Prize Drawings at Various Sites

The NSBW campaign theme, “School Breakfast Challenge,” reminds the entire school community that school breakfast provides a healthy, energizing start to the day for students. Students will be encouraged to “Take the Challenge” from March 6-10 with special menus, decorations, cafeteria events, and more. Please see your school’s menus for special breakfast items and encourage your student to participate in the events happening throughout the week.

“A healthy breakfast at the start of the day is one way to ensure students are getting the best education they can,” said Food and Nutrition Services Director, Megan Doran. “National School Breakfast Week helps us educate parents and students about all the healthy and appealing choices we offer.” The district serves over 4,600 breakfast meals daily through the federally funded School Breakfast Program. School nutrition professionals in St. Mary's County Public Schools prepare breakfast and lunches every day that meet federal nutrition standards – limiting fat, calories and sodium – and encourage students to choose from the fruits, vegetables, and whole grains offered with school meals.

The “Maryland Crunch” will also be happening during National School Breakfast Week. On Tuesday, March 7, 2017, at 9:15 a.m., thousands of Marylanders will bite into apples simultaneously, to help raise awareness of the important role school breakfast plays in ensuring children have access to healthy food.

National School Breakfast Week was launched in 1989 to raise awareness of the availability of the School Breakfast Program to all children and to promote the links between eating a good breakfast, academic achievement, and healthy lifestyles. The “Take the School Breakfast Challenge” is made possible by the nonprofit School Nutrition Association, Kellogg’s, and Potatoes, USA. Parents and students can follow the fun on Twitter @SMCPS_Food and using #NSBW17.

For more information about schools meals, visit http://www.smcps.org/dss/food-services or www.schoolnutrition.org/SchoolMeals.