State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers has announced 48 public and private schools will get more than $750,000 in federal funds over the next two years for school breakfast programs. Grants will range from $1,400 to $41,000 per school or district.
Jon Janowski, Director of Advocacy for the Hunger Task Force, says the money is sorely needed as the economic downturn has more families qualifying for the reduced meal program. He says families that previously would not have considering taking part, are now signing up.
Wisconsin still ranks near the bottom in terms of the number of qualified kids participating in school breakfast programs as well as the number of schools offering both school lunch and breakfast. However Janowski says the state has been “making gains” in the past ten years.
The hunger advocate says school breakfast benefits the children, their families and teachers who will be dealing with students who are better behaved and more apt to learn, “Ultimately that’s what the program is all about that is preparing kids to learn.”
The federal grants were championed in the US Senate by Wisconsin’s own Herb Kohl.