The Hunger-Free Heartland Initiative is being launched in southwestern Iowa and eastern Nebraska, thanks to help from more than 50 businesses, organizations and government entities in the region. Sue Arment, the director of the initiative, says the goal is to make sure every child in the area has a healthy breakfast daily, starting in 2011.

Arment says, “We have one in six of our children who are food insecure, meaning, they don’t know where their next meal is coming from.” Arment says many children have to go without an evening meal, so their most recent meal would have been lunch at school the previous day. She says they’re seeking input from school districts in Omaha-Council Bluffs.

Arment says, “Tell us what you see are the barriers, the issues, the gaps, things that we should be addressing to solve childhood hunger in the metro area.” Arment says beside schools, they’re looking at different ways and locations where children can receive a hot, nutritious breakfast.

Arment says, “We’ll be identifying some programs and things we have to do around increasing breakfast participation in the schools as well as doing things community-wide around breakfast.” The counties the group is focusing on initially are Douglas and Sarpy counties in Nebraska and Pottawattamie County, Iowa.