All three meals at school is an option for many Wisconsin kids. What began as a pilot program at four Milwaukee Public Schools three years ago has ballooned into all district schools offering dinner. Jon Janowski, Director of Advocacy for the Hunger Task Force, says the recession has made dinner programs more popular.
Janowski says the program evolved out of kids involved in after school care and activities meaning students could be going up to seven hours without a meal.
The Hunger Task Force’s research from schools that offered dinner over the summer received a good reception.”People really like the fact there is this dinner option,” says Janowski, who claims teachers and staff also support the program.
Critics cite the half million dollar school dinner program occurs at a time when academic programs and even teaching jobs have been on the chopping block. Supporters say the meals are largely funded by federal grants making the plan almost self sustaining.