The Nation’s Capital Heard the Crunch for School Breakfast

April 5, 2019

By Paige Pokorney

With free school breakfast available to every D.C. student attending a public school (traditional and charter), the District ranks fourth in the nation for school breakfast participation. School breakfast provides students with the nutrition they need to be healthy and thrive in the classroom. Eating school breakfast has been linked to reduced hunger, improved academic performance, and decreased disciplinary problems.

On March 6, 2019, during National School Breakfast Week (March 4-8), D.C. Hunger Solutions celebrated the benefits of school breakfast with Hear the Crunch! — an annual event where students, parents, educators, policymakers, advocates, and others in D.C. and Maryland take synchronized bites into apples in support of school breakfast.

Director of D.C. Hunger Solutions , Beverley Wheeler, and Anti-Hunger Program Associate, Paige Pokorney, kick off Hear the D.C. Crunch!

This year, all D.C. Public Schools and several charter schools included apples on their school meal menus and integrated special apple-themed activities throughout the day.

A student at Aiton Elementary School shows off her Hear the D.C. Crunch! stickers.

A DCPS student makes her crunch heard during school breakfast.

The crunch was also heard in early childcare centers. CentroNía, Manly Science and Technology Center, Matthews Memorial Child Development Center, and Martha’s Table at The Maycroft served apples and applesauce to share the school breakfast-loving fun with their students.

A student from CentroNia’s early child care center enjoys her apple.

CentroNia students celebrate Hear the Crunch!

Hear the Crunch! even reached our friends at the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) — the D.C. agency that administers the School Breakfast Program.

OSSE staff join in the fun with a coordinated apple crunch.

D.C. councilmembers also are advocates of school breakfast. The D.C. Hunger Solutions staff visited all 13 councilmembers during Hear the Crunch! to continue to spread the word about the importance of school breakfas

Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White shows his support of school breakfast as he Hears the D.C. Crunch!

At-large Councilmember Grosso shows his enthusiasm for school breakfast.

Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh (left) and Communications Director Kelly Whittier double the crunch.

Thank you to everyone who made Hear the D.C. Crunch! and National School Breakfast Week a smashing — or, should we say, crunching — success! While current school breakfast participation in D.C. is promising, the nation’s capital still has tremendous opportunity to grow participation rates. As demonstrated by the support for Hear the Crunch!, it is clear that there is enough dedication and momentum in the District to ensure every D.C. child has access to a healthy, free school breakfast.

Learn more about the critical role of the School Breakfast Program in children’s lives.