A Great Falls educator is being nationally recognized for helping ensure his students start the day with breakfast.
Lincoln Elementary Principal Jon Konen has been honored with one of five Breakfast Heroes awards.
The contest was launched in 2018 during National School Breakfast Week in March to celebrate champions who make school breakfast possible for all kids.
The winners include educators and administrators from school districts across the country who were nominated by members of their community.
The contest was part of a national anti-hunger campaign by No Kid Hungry.
Konen’s school was one of the first in Montana to apply for and receive a Breakfast After the Bell grant from Montana No Kid Hungry in 2014, when the school did not offer any sort of breakfast program for its 400 students.
Montana First Lady Lisa Bullock presented Konen with his award in a recognition ceremony Monday at Lincoln Elementary.
Konen said the award is really about everyone at the school working together from food service staff to students and teachers.
He also credited fellow Principal Lance Boyd, now at Longfellow, and the staff of West Elementary for being the first to implement Breakfast After the Bell in Great Falls.
Research shows hunger can have significant impacts on children, including lower test scores, weaker attendance rates, and a higher risk of hospitalizations and chronic diseases.
No Kid Hungry and its partners focus on school breakfast as a critical way to end childhood hunger.
Accessing traditional cafeteria breakfast service can be challenging for many kids because of bussing or other transportation issues.
Breakfast After the Bell provides breakfast in a way that is more convenient and accessible to students, resulting in more kids starting the day ready to learn.
For more information about school breakfast and Montana No Kid Hungry, visit here.
-Reported by Joe Huisinga/MTN News