The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) today announced that 10 states and territories—Arkansas, Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Puerto Rico and Rhode Island—will participate in a learning lab on state strategies to reduce childhood hunger. The project is aligned with Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe’s NGA Spouse’s Initiative aimed at combating childhood hunger at the state and local level.

Governors continue to seek ways to address childhood hunger through effective policies. “The importance of ensuring school-age children have regular access to healthy meals is a priority,” said Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. “Additional collaboration of multisector partnerships could increase access to nutritious meals for eligible children and help reduce childhood hunger.”

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.

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.

To learn more about NGA’s Economic Opportunity Division, click here.