Maryland Breakfast Challenge Connects 10,000 More Students to Healthy School Breakfast Across the State

Food Network Chef Duff Goldman Celebrates the Baltimore County Winner at Red House Run Elementary; Calls for More Schools to Make Breakfast Part of the School Day

Chef Duff celebrates with the kids and the big check.

Baltimore, Md. – The Maryland No Kid Hungry Campaign, in partnership with the Maryland State Department of Education and other anti-hunger advocates from across the state, today announced that 10,000 more students in Maryland started receiving a healthy school breakfast as a result of the Maryland Breakfast Challenge. The top 25 winners from each district across Maryland and a statewide winner were awarded prizes, including cash and in-school celebrations. Red House Run Elementary took home the top-prize for Baltimore County and celebrated with Baltimore’s own pastry chef and Food Network star Chef Duff Goldman.

“Maryland is already a national leader in serving hungry kids school breakfast, but I know we can do better, especially in this city, a place I hold so close to my heart,” said Duff Goldman, owner of Charm City Cakes and Food Network star. “We have the best of everything here in Baltimore; winning sports teams, insanely delicious food, beautiful sights and amazing people. Let’s help make our kids the best they can be too.”

Students can’t learn on an empty stomach. Yet, each day too many Maryland students miss out on school breakfast. During the 2014-2015 school year, schools across Maryland connected more students with breakfast and had the opportunity to win cash and prizes by participating in the Maryland Breakfast Challenge. 930 schools across the state took the Challenge and made sure over 10,000 more students started their day with a healthy school breakfast. The statewide winner, Arundel Elementary/Middle in Baltimore City, served on average 146 more breakfasts per day during the challenge.

“We’ve seen that students who start their day with breakfast are more alert in class, exhibit fewer disciplinary problems and have better attendance,” said David Sloan, director of the Maryland No Kid Hungry campaign. “We are so proud of the schools that worked tirelessly to connect more kids to breakfast through the Maryland Breakfast Challenge, but we still have thousands of kids across the state that need to be connected to school breakfast.”

In Maryland, an overwhelming three out of five public school teachers say they have children in their classrooms who regularly come to school hungry because they’re not getting enough to eat at home, according to research from Deloitte. Many educators say that traditional school breakfast – served in the cafeteria, early in the morning before the bell rings – isn’t always effective. The No Kid Hungry campaign has promoted a solution that works: breakfast served as part of the regular school day. For classroom teachers, students who are well-fed are able to focus, function and achieve academic success.

The 2014 Maryland School Breakfast Challenge Partners included the No Kid Hungry campaign, the Maryland State Department of Education, Action for Healthy Kids, Family League of Baltimore, Maryland Hunger Solutions, Maryland State Education Association and the Mid Atlantic Dairy Association. No Kid Hungry’s national breakfast work is sponsored by Citibank® and Tyson Foods.

The Maryland School Breakfast Challenge success comes on the heels of the Hunger in Our Schools report released in March by No Kid Hungry, which takes an in-depth look at the impact of childhood hunger through the eyes of teachers, principals, guidance counselors, bus drivers and more. The full report can be read at For more information on how breakfast can impact a child’s life, visit our School Breakfast program page.

No child should go hungry in America, but 1 in 5 kids will face hunger this year. Using proven, practical solutions, No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger today by ensuring that kids start the day with a nutritious breakfast, are able to get the nutrition they need during the summertime, and families learn the skills they need to shop and cook on a budget. When we all work together, we can make sure kids get the healthy food they need. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of national anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength.