SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — McDonald’s restaurants around southwest Missouri are participating in Hope for Hunger, a one-morning effort to provide a free breakfast for children from kindergarten to 12th grade, and draw attention to childhood hunger in the Ozarks. 63 restaurants are taking part.
Nigel Holderby with United Way of the Ozarks says 1 in 7 people in the Ozarks don’t know where their next meal is coming from. “When you take that to the next level, that is 1 in 4 children. So, that’s a lot of kids that go hungry every single day. United Way fights for the education, health and the financial stability of every person in every community. So what that means is, when you are hungry, how does that impact your education? We know that when your belly is rumbling, you’re not really able to focus. We know that affects our kids and how they learn.”
Hunger for students can put them at a big disadvantage in school. “We talk about all the different things it impacts. If I’m hungry and foggy, and I can’t learn, that’s going to impact whether I can graduate from high school. It levels up and you really have a stacking effect.
Whenever you look at people who are hungry, kids hungry, they can’t learn in school, how does that impact the overall economic development of the community and what happens later on in life for them.”
“We talk about ‘Live United’ at United Way with this motto that we have. But it’s more than just a motto – it’s more than just words. It’s what’s happening here. Our partnership with McDonald’s – our partnership with KOLR10 – it’s a great way to bring awareness and letting people know that this is not just affecting their neighbor. Whenever we’re impacted, it’s all of us. It’s the community.”
The free breakfast – for children only, K-12, is from 6am to 9am at area McDonald’s.