More than 449,000 low-income Illinois children are at risk of starting their school day hungry

Rise and Shine Illinois – a public affairs campaign – urges teachers, administrators, parents, health and wellness providers, and community members to “request school breakfast.” More than 449,000 children who receive free and reduced-price lunch in Illinois do not receive school breakfast, ranking Illinois 36th in the nation.
Rise & Shine Illinois is a partnership of Share Our Strength and several Illinois hunger-relief organizations. The campaign was developed in response to a recommendation of the Illinois Commission to End Hunger, a statewide body created by legislation in 2010 and appointed by the Governor. School breakfast is a key program in addressing child hunger.


Did you know?
·        More than 21% of children in Illinois – 1 in 5 children – is food insecure.
·        73% of teachers say they teach students who regularly come to school hungry because there isn’t enough food at home.
·        449,092 low-income Illinois children participated in the National School Lunch Program in 2012-2013 but did not participate in the National School Breakfast Program.
·        Teachers and principals report seeing a noticeable increase in attendance and fewer discipline problems since incorporating breakfast programs.
·        Studies conclude that students who eat school breakfast increase their math and reading scores as well as improve their speed and memory in cognitive tests.
·        Research also shows that children who eat breakfast at school – closer to class and test-taking time – perform better on standardized tests than those who skip breakfast or eat breakfast at home.
The goal of Rise & Shine Illinois is to increase use of the National School Breakfast Program, a proven model. The National School Breakfast Program is a federal program that provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost, or free breakfasts to children each school day. It is administered at the federal level by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and at the state level by the Illinois State Board of Education. School administrators, teachers and parents play key roles in determining whether breakfast is available and accessible in schools. School breakfasts are reimbursed by the federal government.
To connect children with effective nutrition programs, including school breakfast, go to Rise & Shine Illinois at

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