LITTLE ROCK, AR (October 3, 2019) – The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance and the Arkansas No Kid Hungry campaign are pleased to announce Marion School District as one of eleven Arkansas school districts to have completed the requirements to qualify as a Five to Thrive district. Five to Thrive, a campaign supported by the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, Arkansas No Kid Hungry Campaign and Arkansas Children’s Hospital’s Natural Wonders Innovation Fund, was developed to encourage school districts across the state to offer a variety of nutritional and physical activity programming to improve student health and academic outcomes.

The child nutrition departments from the winning districts recently received school breakfast, out of school meals or other implementation funds and technical assistance to implement all five program components by fall of 2019. Five to Thrive requirements are:

1. Serve Breakfast After the Bell (Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab and Go, Second Chance) AND a universal meal option (Community Eligibility Provision, Provision 2 or other option offering meals at no charge to all students) in at least one school
2. Serve USDA summer meals (Seamless Summer Option or Summer Food Service Program) and/or afterschool meals (Child and Adult Care Food Program)
3. Offer Cooking Matters or similar nutrition education curriculum
4. Create a school-based food pantry, weekend student backpack or family meal box program
5. Offer an in-school physical activity program (Go Noodle, Fuel Up to Play 60, SPARK, etc.)

“Becoming a Five to Thrive school district shows dedication to the health and wellness of students. The Alliance and the No Kid Hungry Campaign are committed to providing these districts ongoing support to help expand or enhance their programs,” said Patty Barker, Arkansas No Kid Hungry campaign director. Research shows that when students have access to nutritious food where they live, learn, and play, their academic outcomes are brighter. These Five to Thrive components enhance the district’s nutrition and physical activity programming to help students not only succeed but thrive!