LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – While the whole world looks to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas, a nonprofit is leveraging that attention to shine a light on food insecurity among school children in Nevada.

It’s a problem one in five Nevada children grapple with, which is more widespread than the national average of one in eight children.

With the help of NFL Legend Morlon Greenwood, a state-wide initiative rang the West Preparatory Academy auditorium Tuesday morning: Super School Meals.

“The only hunger a child should have is the hunger to learn,” Greenwood said to a sea of students during a conference with hundreds of students watching.

Former NFL linebacker and current NFL Alumni Association Las Vegas Chapter President Morlon Greenwood speaking to West Preparatory Academy students Tuesday morning about Super School Meals. (KLAS)

The program makes 58 ‘grab-n-go’ packages available to Nevada schools: mobile meal carts and milk coolers that can be positioned anywhere on campus.

CCSD Food Services Coordinator Jake Yarberry also says they may lessen the stigma of a morning meal on campus for students who do not have access to nutritional food at home.

“We can bring them right to the students, so like, towards the bus area, outside of the cafeteria, wherever kids congregate,” Yarberry said after the conference. “Some of the schools already have it, but we’re going to have this in around 80 of our schools.”

The venture expects around 45,000 Nevada students to receive over 12 million meals that meet USDA’s school meal guidelines.

An example of a mobile food cart for schools that do not have wide enough doors for the standard cart. (KLAS)

Nevada Department of Education Superintendent of Public Education Jhone Ebert describes it as feeding students’ stomachs before feeding their minds.

“’My tummy’s rumbling, I’m hungry.’ They have a headache because they haven’t eaten,” Ebert said after the conference. “It allows the child to focus on their education.”

It’s a partnership led by GENYOUth, the national nonprofit that uses the Super Bowl when in its host cities to cast a spotlight on the problem: only half of the 30 million students who qualify for the national school lunch program benefit from breakfast.

GENYOUth collects the equipment funding, while schools provide the food.

CEO Ann Marie Krautheim says part of the problem is not always about providing the meals but getting the students to eat them.

“School meals here in the state of Nevada are free for all kids,” Krautheim said after the conference, referencing American Rescue Plan funding used for universal free school meals through this school year. “We see school meal participation increase by up to 27% that’s really unheard of. Typically, in a school meal program, you might see one percent growth.”

School families are urged to nominate a school to receive one of these packages through GENYOUth’s website, while schools are urged to apply for them directly.

Krautheim says schools will be chosen and equipment will be delivered before February’s Super Bowl.

GENYOUth’s partners in this program include the Las Vegas Super Bowl Host Committee, Dairy Council of Nevada, Quaker, Frito-Lay, PepsiCo Foundation, and Smiths.