WHEREAS, 16.2 million children live in households that struggle to get food on the table; and
WHEREAS, nearly one in five kids is hungry and lacking nutritious foods; and
WHEREAS, research has found strong ties between nutrition and a child's overall health and well-being, including direct links between food insecurity and academic achievement, developmental problems and sickness; and
WHEREAS, federal nutrition programs play a critical role in helping children build healthy minds and bodies; and
WHEREAS, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 created a new option for how schools can operate the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, known as the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP); and
WHEREAS, the CEP gives states, districts and schools across the country the opportunity to streamline the school meal programs and reduce the administrative costs, while allowing high-poverty schools to partake in the National School Breakfast and Lunch Program at no charge; and
WHEREAS, the CEP program will become available for districts in all states beginning with the 2014-15 school year, increasing the number of schools participating in universal breakfast and lunch programs; and
WHEREAS, every school is built differently, has different staffing ratios, has different cafeteria set-ups, has different hours of operation, and teaching and learning methods; and
WHEREAS, changes to the number of students served food and the method of feeding students, may affect staff in the entire school—from the bus driver driving students to school in time for breakfast to the custodian who cleans the facility, to the food service worker working outside of the traditional cafeteria setting to the teacher and paraprofessional adjusting their teaching methods and class schedule; and
WHEREAS, the American Federation of Teachers has a long and proud history of supporting collaboration among all stakeholders as a strategy to promote innovative solutions and programs that promote quality education:
RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers and its affiliates will work collaboratively with all stakeholders, including parents, administrators and community, to determine what type of breakfast strategy—whether it be grab-and-go breakfast, breakfast for all in the cafeteria, breakfast in the classroom, or some other type of innovative approach that maximizes student participation and does not interfere with our education priorities; and
RESOLVED, that the AFT will continue to advocate that all staff—from the bus driver to the teacher—be included in the planning, training and implementation of school nutrition programs, including regular assessment of a program's effectiveness.
RESOLVED, that the AFT and its affiliates will actively seek partners and organizations with shared goals to promote and encourage innovative strategies and compile "best practices" on how to best implement universal breakfast and lunch.
RESOLVED, that we will work to make sure that no kid goes hungry and every child has the opportunity to excel.(2014)