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Jacksonville students join in National No One Eats Alone Day

Students urged to interact, sit with students they don't know at lunch

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A positive prevention initiative designed to promote inclusion in middle schools was celebrated Monday at Matthew W. Gilbert Middle School. 

In honor of National No One Eats Alone Day, students learned about social isolation and the negative impact it can have on a student’s health and academic performance. They were encouraged to demonstrate inclusion by interacting and sitting with students who they don’t know at lunch.

Social isolation is a preventable public health crisis affecting millions of students and has been identified as a precursor to bullying, self-harm and community violence.

Students have shown that when they are given the tools, they will stand up for others as empathetic and caring activists, not passive bystanders.

Matthew Gilbert Middle School is one of more than 2,250 schools across the country that celebrated National No One Eats Alone Day.

The initiative, created by the nonprofit group Beyond Differences, will reach more than 1 million students in all 50 states.