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Hunger Free Students: Opportunities for Schools Beyond the Cafeteria

Good nutrition forms the foundation for children's well-being and academic achievement, impacting their future health and economic productivity. However, in the US, 15.8 million children live in homes experiencing food insecurity.

Many of these children rely on National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs to meet their daily food needs. Despite the efforts  and importance of these nutrition safety nets, school meals may not always reach all students in need, and students may be at increased risk when school is out of session.

Please join Alisha Gaines, PhD, Cornell University Division of Nutritional Sciences,  for a discussion of a variety of innovative school-based programs with unique partners across the nation that address childhood hunger outside of the cafeteria.

Learning objectives:

  1. Describe the childhood food insecurity and hunger problem in the US.
  2. Describe school-based programs operating outside the cafeteria that address student hunger.
  3. Identify resources for potential programming opportunities in your area.

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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and membership funding. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the content are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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