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Hempstead school district to expand breakfast program

Hempstead school district Superintendent Susan Johnson on April

Hempstead school district Superintendent Susan Johnson on April 6, 2013. Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

The Hempstead Union Free School District announced Monday its "Breakfast in the Classroom," which began as a pilot program at the start of the school year, will be fully expanded to all eight elementary schools in the district within the next four weeks.

"The program has really taken off since we first implemented it in a few of our elementary schools," Sharon Gardner, director of food services in the district, said in a news release.

Funding and supervision of the program is done through a partnership between the national School Superintendents Program, and the Walmart Foundation, which donated $200,000 for the endeavor.

"Students who eat breakfast and who aren't going through the day hungry are simply better able and more willing to learn," said Superintendent Susan Johnson in the release. "Education and proper nutrition go hand in hand."

It went on to say that the Hempstead district is only one of 11 school districts nationwide receiving grants as part of a $10.5 million initiative the Walmart Foundation is beginning this fall to support school food and nutrition programs. The School Superintendents Program provides oversight assistance for the program.

Thousands of students will receive the free breakfast, said the release.

Districts were eligible for the grant based on low breakfast participation and a highly reduced or free meal rate.

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