Waukesha School Board Votes To Feed All Students
Schools play a critical role in feeding children. For many students, food they receive at school makes a substantial difference in their ability to learn and safeguards their health. The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) has historically ensured that income-eligible students are able to receive meals free of charge or at a reduced rate.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a lot of uncertainty for families, especially those with school aged children. The USDA released waivers to allow all schools in the nation that participate in NSLP to serve all children at no cost to families through a program called Seamless Summer Option (SSO). This program allowed schools to “seamlessly” transition to the Seamless Summer Option, allowing for a higher reimbursement than traditional NSLP and the ability to serve all children in the district, regardless of income. Excess funds received by the school district can be used to increase quality of meals, purchase more local produce, invest in kitchen infrastructure and hire more staff, such as Dietitians, to improve meal quality or provide nutrition education.
Hunger Task Force believes that every person has a right to adequate food obtained with dignity. Yesterday, the Waukesha School Board voted to adopt the Seamless Summer Option, allowing the district to feed all children within their schools. We commend the Waukesha School Board for making the decision that best serves all students of Waukesha and the community, and for opening the discussion on how to better utilize federal nutrition programs in the future. As the leading anti-hunger organization in Wisconsin, Hunger Task Force is eager to assist in strengthening these programs in Wisconsin’s schools this year, and in the future.