Part of Baptist Health’s organizational goals as spelled out in the Baptist Health 2020 strategic plan includes a focus on expanding initiatives that positively impact people in Arkansas communities.
Partnerships and communities are an important part of Baptist Health’s strategic priorities, and those partnerships help Baptist Health expand its mission into the communities it serves.
Collaborating with community partners enables Baptist Health to serve more Arkansans, improve the health of communities, and serve populations in need.
With those goals in mind, Baptist Health has partnered with the Little Rock School District, Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, the Arkansas No Kid Hungry campaign and Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s Healthy Active Arkansas initiative to create the new Baptist Health BHealthy Good2Go program that is aimed at ensuring students have a nutritious start that promotes learning throughout the rest of the day.
The Good2Go breakfast program began earlier this month with a kickoff at Hall High School in Little Rock and is scheduled to expand to two additional locations at J.A. Fair and McClellan high schools next week.
As strong supporters of Healthy Active Arkansas, Baptist Health, the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance and the Arkansas No Kid Hungry campaign assisted the Little Rock School District in adapting the grab-and-go breakfast model to help high-need schools increase participation in the federally funded school breakfast program.
Although many elementary and middle schools in the Little Rock School District already have successful breakfast programs, the three highest-need high schools — all with free or reduced-price lunch rates of 78 percent of students or higher — struggled in attracting older students to eat breakfast at school.
High school students are known for not eating early in the morning before class, often leaving them tired and unfocused until lunchtime. Thanks to the Baptist BHealthy Good2Go program, students will now be able to stop by a central location at the school and pick up a nutritious smoothie to have on their way to class.
The smoothies that students enjoy are nutritionally complete and fully reimbursable by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the federal agency that administers the National School Breakfast Program.
Quick Facts on the Need for School Breakfast in Arkansas
- One in four Arkansas children don’t always know where they will get their next meal.
- In the 2016/17 school year, there were 287,142 students in Arkansas schools who were eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.
- Hunger causes headaches, stomachaches, inability to concentrate, irritability, and acting-out behaviors that significantly impact student academic success.