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Report Says Hunger Is A Problem In Classrooms

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A student at Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, Md. is getting breakfast before beginning his day.
Armando Trull
A student at Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, Md. is getting breakfast before beginning his day.

Nearly 1,200 teachers in grades K-8 nationwide were surveyed to determine the impact and extent of hunger in the classrooms. In Maryland, 63 percent of teachers say they see hungry kids in their classes because they're not getting enough food at home.

"We have more than half of our students who live in conditions of poverty, and we know that hungry students have a difficult time learning and being prepared in the classrooms," says Verjeana Jacobs, who chairs the Prince George's County Board of Education.

In Prince George's county, about 70,000 students had free or subsidized breakfast or lunch last year, but officials believe many more are eligible that haven't applied. The push is to engage teachers to make sure children are enrolled in the programs.

The report, put together by the organization Share Our Strength, says well-fed kids do much better academically, and have less behavior problems than their hungry counterparts.

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