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Maryland Pursues Program To End Childhood Hunger

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Fresh off his successful re-election campaign, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is pushing his goals for his second term. The governor is starting with a plan he first proposed two years ago.

In 2008, O'Malley formed a partnership that included the Governor's Office for Children and the non-profit Share Our Strength to end childhood hunger in Maryland by 2015.

One of the ways the partnership is trying to reach that goal is by increasing the number of meals served to kids at schools. O'Malley says an accompanying marketing campaign to raise awareness of the meals' availability is already producing results.

"The importance of a healthy breakfast, which can affect everything from behavior, to health, to academic performance and test scores, to school attendance and class participation. And because of the work of the partnership, we've been able to provide breakfast to 11,600 more kids per day than we were doing two years ago," O'Malley says.

Maryland is also now one of the 13 states that offer dinner meals to school children. Kimberly Fields lives in Brooklyn, Md., just outside of Baltimore. Her two sons, in first and sixth grades, eat dinner at an after-school program.

"I'm only working part-time, and Dad isn't working right now. So, at least we know that now, they can get a good, nutritional supper-meal at the school. It helps out," Fields says.

She says that the meals allow her to spend what little money she has on bills rather than on food.

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