For many children at Sarah Y. Austin Child Development – and at Family Services’ 15 partner child care centers – the breakfast snack and lunch they receive are the most important meals of the day.

Children cannot learn on empty stomachs.

Family Services early childhood development programs for children, birth to age 5, nurture every aspect of a child’s growth – including the child’s nutrition.

That’s why Family Services Child Development (FSCD) will again team up with the Chef and Child Foundation of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) and Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina to put a spotlight on the disturbing statistics of childhood hunger in Forsyth County and to emphasize the importance of good nutrition.

On Tuesday, October 16, 2018, Chef Don McMillan, president of the local Stock Pot and Family Services Board member, will collaborate with numerous North Carolina chefs and culinary students to serve a healthy, delicious breakfast to hundreds of preschool children, their families, teachers, community partners, and Family Services staff.

The chefs will serve breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at four, five-star FSCD Centers: Kernersville, Mineral Springs, Winston-Salem State University, and the agency’s main child Development offices at Sarah Y. Austin (2050 Big House Gaines Blvd., Winston-Salem), where a brief program will take place at 8:00 a.m.

Last year, approximately 1,400 breakfasts were served.

North Carolina is fortunate to have a very active, dedicated Chef and Child chapter that includes talented chefs who teach hands-on parent/child cooking classes in 22 North Carolina counties, including Forsyth County.

Children cannot learn on empty stomachs.

Family Services is grateful for the opportunity to help raise awareness about childhood hunger in the community. According to Second Harvest statistics for Forsyth County, 23% (19,750) of children face food insecurity every day. Second Harvest also reports that 28% of food insecure children do not qualify for federal child nutrition programs.

Several city leaders, including Mayor Allen Joines, will speak as part of the brief program that will be held at the Sarah Y. Austin (SYA) site, student athletes from local colleges and universities will talk to preschoolers about healthy eating, and the children will provide entertainment.

The Childhood Nutrition Day breakfast also focuses on helping others. Guests are encouraged to bring non-perishable food donations to help restock the shelves at Second Harvest.

Family Services Child Development has provided evidence-based school readiness development and education for more than 50 years through its Head Start and Early Head Start programs. These programs serve 619 at-risk children, birth to 5 years of age, and their families. FSCD is committed to preparing children for success in school and in life with a focus on education, health/nutrition, social-emotional and behavioral development, parent involvement and family and community partnerships.