In Wisconsin, 1 in 6 children live in poverty. It’s hard for children to focus on learning when they have an empty stomach. School Breakfast provides critical nutrition to children, especially in high poverty areas where kids might not get that nutrition at home. Unfortunately, Wisconsin ranks last in the country in serving breakfast to students from low-income families. Hunger Task Force is working with school districts, teachers and parents to ensure thousands of more hungry kids get a breakfast to start their day.
Hunger takes a physical, mental and academic toll on children. Abundant research shows that hungry students have poorer academic and health outcomes. Children who do not have enough to eat suffer two-to-four times as many individual health problems compared to children who are well-nourished. Hunger delays the cognitive development of children, hindering their ability to achieve academically.
Children who eat breakfast, on the other hand, are absent from school less often, have a decreased risk of being overweight and are less likely to have behavioral problems in school. In Wisconsin, 76 (out of 430 total public) school districts have more than 50% of their student population qualifying for free or reduced price meals. The need to offer school breakfast is based on the lack of access to nutritious food for a substantial number of Wisconsin children, but all students, regardless of socioeconomic status, can benefit from participating in the School Breakfast Program.
What happens next?
Hunger Task Force can help! Over the last several years we’ve worked with school districts to connect over 4,000 more students from low-income families to a school breakfast every day. Hunger Task Force provide technical assistance, educate on best practices and work with teachers, principals, parents and school administrators to make sure the School Breakfast Program is a success.