SOUTHFIELD (CBS Detroit) – This week marks National Breakfast Week, and it’s an opportunity to bring attention to the nutritional needs of our students while also looking at improving their lives, their opportunity and their success in the future.

“We mark this occasion today to announce the launch of Oakland County Better With Breakfast, a new program that’s going to bring universal breakfast to thousands of more students across Oakland County,” exclaims David T. Woodward, Oakland County Board Chairman. “We’re really excited to eliminate the barriers so that our students start every morning fed.”

“We have a lot of need in Oakland County. In fact, 43% of all the students who receive free or reduced lunch in Oakland County are not accessing breakfast,” says Dr. Wanda Cook-Robinson, Superintendent of Oakland Schools. “That means that we have over 7,000 students that are going hungry during the day.”

“This program is really monumental from the sense that we’ll now be able to change that narrative about Michigan education,”  says Dr. Darienne Driver, CEO United Way of Southeastern Michigan. “I haven’t been here very long, but I’m really tired of hearing Michigan is #41.

“Teachers are excited now, and they are actually saying kids are more energetic, instead of them coming in and putting their head down,” explains Dwayne Eason, Principal of Southfield Regional Academic Campus.  “They have the energy to actually do the work.”

Dr. Driver adds “When we come back together next year I want us to be able to say ‘we are starting to make progress’ on something as simple as making sure our young people have access to food.”

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