Two central Maine schools received grant funding from a child hunger organization to help provide additional breakfast options at school.

Farrington Elementary in Augusta and Gardiner Community Middle School each received $4,000 from the Portland-based Full Plates Full Potential organization, which is dedicated to ending child hunger in Maine. The organization granted more than $26,000 to nine schools across Maine who are addressing student hunger and increasing access to nutritious school breakfast.

“Besides meeting their nutritional needs, a full belly allows students to focus on their academics and to reach their full potential,” said Michelle Lamm, chairwoman of the FPFP breakfast subcommittee and supervisor at the Preble Street Maine Hunger Initiative, in a news release.

The news release states that the grants are funding breakfast models called “breakfast after the bell,” which has added to the number of children participating in the healthy School Breakfast Program.

According to the release, students of teachers who’ve implemented the model have had fewer disciplinary problems, fewer visits to the nurse’s office and better academic achievement.

Last year, nearly 87,000 children in Maine — or 47 percent of all public school students — lived in a household where there was often not enough nutritious food to eat.

While some students still eat a traditional breakfast in the cafeteria before school, that program doesn’t meet the needs of all Maine students. Many arrive at school just as class is about to begin or later and haven’t had time to eat breakfast before starting their day.

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