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Nine Arkansas school districts have achieved “Five to Thrive” status as part of a statewide campaign to encourage districts to offer students a variety of nutrition and physical activity programs to improve their health and academic achievement.

The districts are Little Rock, North Little Rock, Hot Springs, Russellville, Cotter, Jonesboro, Pine Bluff, Drew Central, and Fort Smith.

Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance and the Arkansas No Kid Hungry campaign are sponsors of the campaign that is funded by Arkansas Children’s Hospital’s Natural Wonders Innovation Fund.

Districts received funding and assistance to put into place by August the five required elements of the campaign.

Those are:

Adopting Breakfast After the Bell and a universal school breakfast program.

Serving or supporting USDA summer and after-school meal programs.

Hosting nutrition education programs.

Maintaining or starting school-based pantries or providing students with backpacks of food for the weekends.

Instituting an evidence-based physical activity program.

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