What is the most critical meal of the day? Breakfast! Research shows that healthy students are better students but millions of kids are showing up to school hungry.
"Breakfast is an integral part of learning, it's part of education," said Bob Foley, Branch Chief of USDA's Food and Nutrition Service Northeast Region.
"Hungry kids can't learn," said Heidi Harkopf, Nutrition Specialist with New England Dairy and Food Council.
"Your health is important to us," said Melissa Greenbacker, Dairy Farmer of Greenbacker's Brookfield Farm.
To encourage this crucial meal and to celebrate National School Breakfast Week, Fuel Up to Play 60, with the support of Share Our Strength and Dean Foods, held a surprise breakfast event for students at Stamford High School.
Jenny Ribeiro, senior at Stamford High School, described the student's excitement about the surprise assembly.
And to the students delight, Mark Herzlich, Linebacker for the New York Giants, surprised the school to encourage breakfast awareness.
"People talk about diet and exercise, but it's not about diet and exercise it's about fueling and training," said Herzlich. "You need calories to have fuel in your body, you need to start your day off with essential vitamins and nutrition."
Herzlich emphasized that nutrition is all about timing and it starts with breakfast.
Herzlich advised "eating different meals all throughout the day and it starts with having breakfast within 20 to 30 minutes of when you wake up."
Stamford High School has made great efforts to follow this timeline and has brought breakfast out of the cafeteria and to the front doors to encourage students.
"So students who come in can grab their breakfast and are off to the classroom, and since they started that just 10 days ago we have seen breakfast double and triple in numbers," said Harkopf. "What's important to remember is that people who skip breakfast never make those nutrients up later in the day."
Stamford High School is currently the only school in the area participating in the campaign. To help encourage breakfast awareness use the hash tag #SchoolBreakfast or visit www.StartWithSchoolBreakfast.com.