W.Va. tries to tackle childhood hunger and obesity

CHARLESTON (AP) — West Virginia lawmakers have passed a bill they hope will ensure no West Virginia student is ever denied a meal because of cost.

The bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and would require every school to have some sort of breakfast program like the one in Mason County, where students walk to the cafeteria together to get breakfast that they eat while starting the day’s lessons.

Officials see it as a way to tackle two problems: poor student achievement in public schools and improving health in a state where federal officials say 29 percent of high schoolers are obese.

The bill also would require every county to set up a fund to collect private donations that would have to be used for food — not salaries or administrative costs.

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