Gov. Bullock, Jeff Bridges Enjoy Breakfast with Darby Kids - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Gov. Bullock, Jeff Bridges Enjoy Breakfast with Darby Kids

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DARBY -

It's not every day a third grader gets to have breakfast with the governor and a movie star.

On Friday morning, Governor Steve Bullock and actor Jeff Bridges, commonly recognized as "The Dude" from the film "The Big Lebowski," enjoyed a meal with a group of Darby Schools.

They were raising awareness on childhood hunger and showcasing the success of Darby School's breakfast program.

The cooks are in the kitchen of Darby School at 6:30 every morning, whipping up more than 200 breakfasts through the Universal Breakfast program.

And after a successful two years, that program caught the attention of some big names.

"We're here at Darby today because Darby is showing the state of Montana and actually the entire country how it's done," said Governor Steve Bullock.

Bullock said he and First Lady Lisa Bullock have made childhood hunger and food insecurity top priorities in Montana.

"If you want to have an educated work force, it starts by making sure our children are well fed," said Lisa.

And to highlight Darby's innovative program, Governor Bullock and "The Dude" himself enjoyed egg casserole and toast while visiting with the third graders.

Bridges is the spokesperson for No Kid Hungry, Share our Strength. It's a national program dedicated to feeding kids in school and teaching families to make healthy meals on a budget.

"You can see the joy on the kids' faces as they chow down," Bridges said.

Bridges said he was impressed by Darby's School's creative menu, which integrates locally-grown produce and homemade recipes.

"It's great certainly for the community where that small school is set up, but also it's inspiring for all the other smaller communities in the United States," he said.

Darby School officials said they're reimbursed for the food with federal dollars.

"Each day is a different meal that follows all the food groups," said third grade teacher Kerrie Holmes.

Holmes said she's seen a big change in her students' performance since the school launched the breakfast program.

"They're a lot more alert and behavior's a lot better."

Founder of Share Our Strength, Billy Shore, says nationally, math scores are 17% higher and attendance is better in classrooms with breakfast programs.

Governor Bullock and Jeff Bridges also visited the YMCA in Billings Friday afternoon.

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