School Feeding Programs

an assembly line of 8 people mostly women packaging various cereals and food

For children, hunger is especially devastating. In fact, according to The Global FoodBanking Network, “[m]oderate to severe food insecurity can cause debilitating or sometimes irreversible damage to the child’s physical and cognitive development.”    

That’s why, building on our 117-year legacy of fighting hunger and feeding people in need, at WK Kellogg Co we are dedicated to furthering our support of school feeding programs to help children reach their full potential. One example of how we do this is through our long-standing commitment to breakfast clubs. In many places in the world, these before-school programs provide students with a healthy breakfast, time to play with friends and, often, extra academic support so they arrive at school ready to learn. But, the impact goes beyond nourishment.    

School feeding programs in North America and around the world are gaining momentum and support as the multitude of benefits becomes apparent. In fact, building upon previous research, the Kellogg Company Fund commissioned additional research in 2022 to understand school meals programs and the social benefits they can provide. School breakfast programs are an established intervention in schools and communities, and while their primary aim is to provide healthy food where food insecurity may be an issue, the research found that many have evolved to provide the opportunity to complete homework, play and socialize. This can lead to benefits, such as:   

  • Supporting children's social development, including as a sense of belonging, security and identity   
  • Improving students' classroom behaviour; and   
  • Helping children who attend breakfast programs get excited about going to school.   

The research also found that the stigma associated with participation in school breakfast programs was reduced when all children attended the programs. Additionally, as have been shown repeatedly, eating a nutritious breakfast can help reduce malnutrition and obesity, even for children who eat a second breakfast at school. Finally, there is a growing body of work suggesting that eating breakfast can be an indicator of improved mental health, as evidenced by lower stress, anxiety and depression levels among children.    

 The social impact of eating breakfast at school continues to be an interesting and growing area of research. Furthermore, there is strong evidence that school feeding programs can grow to become community-building experiences that provide the opportunity to help create a sense of belonging in students and enable the development of positive relationships between students, teachers and staff.