On Tuesday, Mar. 5 the national anti-hunger campaign No Kid Hungry came to Rialto to honor Dr. Monte Stewart, principal of Hughbanks Elementary School, as a 2019 Breakfast Hero.
Rialto Unified was hailed as a champion of tackling the issue of childhood hunger with the breakfast in the classroom program. No Kid Hungry honored five school leaders as their 2019 Breakfast Heroes. Principal Stewart was an early adopter of the Breakfast in the Classroom program in the Rialto Unified School District. “He’s passionate about the program and sees how important breakfast is for his kids to succeed,” said Daisy Munguia, a senior program manager for No Kid Hungry California. “Everything he does goes back to supporting his number one stakeholder: his students.”
Hughbanks Elementary 2nd grader Emily Ramero spoke about the Breakfast in the Classroom program and how connected it makes her feel to be able to eat with her friends and her teacher, as opposed to feeling alone in the cafeteria because not all students ate breakfast before school. Taking breakfast out of the cafeteria and bringing it into the classroom takes the stigma away from free breakfast, and as Emily put it, makes it seem like a family.
Emily’s teacher Sergio Infante said that the breakfast in the classroom program was important because all of his students were given the opportunity to eat allowing them the ability to focus more on learning and not hungry stomachs.
Erica Rodriguez spoke to how the program helps her as a busy mom take one more thing off her plate when the morning goes off course, “I know that if we’re running late there will be breakfast for my son and all the other kids at my son’s school.”
School Board President Edgar Montes shared words of appreciation for the hard working staff that continue to move Rialto Unified into a positive light nationally. Rialto City Councilman and dedicated parent Andy Carrizales spoke about how he and his wife were a little jealous at first when their daughter chose the school breakfast over eating at home. They are both proud to be a part of the work that Rialto Unified School District is doing.
Education did not take a break as No Kid Hungry brought Celebrity Chef Travis Flood out to prepare food for the event. Chef Travis had the Rialto Unified Culinary Class working alongside him making delicious food for over 250 people to enjoy during the event.
No Kid Hungry is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization working to end hunger and poverty. Find more information at NoKidHungry.org.