BATON ROUGE — Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) chose Louisiana among only 10 states to participate in a learning lab on state strategies to reduce childhood hunger.
“I am excited for my administration to embark on this learning opportunity as we continue working to fulfill our commitment to end child hunger in Louisiana,” said Gov. Edwards. “Our children depend on the adults in their lives, and in some cases those of us trusted with the duty of public service, to protect and provide them with the best chance at leading a happy and productive life. This partnership will help us fulfill that duty.”
In the program, state teams will learn about how Virginia leverages public-private partnerships to ensure school-age children have regular access to healthy meals and increased participation in child nutrition programs. They will discuss strategies such as communicating and collaborating to reduce hunger; expanding access to school breakfast; supporting innovation in summer meal programs; and streamlining eligibility determination for free meals.
“Gov. Edwards, First Lady Edwards and selected team members are committed to implementing a rigorous No Kid Hungry Campaign that will increase access to breakfast, lunch and summer meals for Louisiana’s children,” said Dr. Dana Hunter, executive director of the Children’s Cabinet. “Louisiana’s participation in the NGA Learning Lab will provide opportunities for cross-sector partners including state and elected officials to learn about national best practices for ending childhood hunger. It’s an honor to be a part of this effort.”
NGA learning labs provide an opportunity for a limited number of state teams to visit a state that is successfully implementing an innovative practice. States participating in the learning lab will have the opportunity to meet in Virginia to learn about best practices for providing healthy meals to school-age children; get an assessment of the degree of childhood hunger present in their own states for policymaking; and receive assistance developing a plan for reducing childhood hunger. The NGA Center is conducting this learning lab in collaboration with Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit focused on ending child hunger through its No Kid Hungry campaign.