- Hunger In Milwaukee
- Hunger Facts
- Priority Campaigns
- Federal Nutrition Programs
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) / FoodShare
- School Breakfast Program
- Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)
- Child & Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
- Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
- Women, Infants & Children (WIC) Program
- Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) / Stockbox
- Senior Farmers Market Vouchers
- The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
- Hunger Publications
- Hunger Partners
All children should have equal access to nutritous and culcturally apropriate meals at school, regardless of their race, gender, ethnicity or zip code. Unfortunately, that’s not the case in the U.S., and especially not in Wisconsin.
Where does Nutrition Inequity Exist?
Significant research shows a discrepancy in the rate of food security by race, gender and ethnicity.
- Over 20% of African American or Black households and 19% of Latinx households reported food insecurity, compared to only 10% of white households.
- In 2016, more than 31% of female-headed household reported food insecurity. This is more than twice the rate of all households (12%).
- 23% of the U.S. Native American population is food-insecure – almost twice the national average.
In Wisconsin, racial disparity is extreme. Almost half of all African American children live in poverty, nearly four times the rate of white children. This is the second highest disparity in the nation.
It doesn’t get much better when access to healthy food at school. A 2019 study from Michigan State University found majority-Black or majority-Latino public elementary schools were significantly less likely to offer fresh fruits and vegetables than predominantly white schools.
How does Nutrition Equity relate to school meals?
All Wisconsin children should have the opportunity to reach full health and learning potential without the disadvantages of a family’s socially determined circumstances. This begins with providing all students with nutritious meals at school. Students receiving adequate nutrition at school have improved diet quality, are at a lower risk for
obesity, have higher levels of academic achievement and test scores, and are more likely to graduate. However, Wisconsin currently ranks 50th in the nation for schools providing school breakfast and only 3% of Wisconsin students receive an afterschool meal.
In Milwaukee, access to school breakfast can vary by 40 to 70% for schools of that are within a half-mile of each other. For example, using 2017-18 data, there are 12 pairs of schools (with similar Free/Reduced %) that are within 1 mile of each other, but differ by up to 69% in school breakfast access. This means that simply going to a school blocks away can increase or decrease your access to healthy, nutritious meals at school.
What is being done to address Nutrition Equity at school?
Milwaukee Public School Board is considering a resolution that would create nutrition equity across all MPS schools. It would require
- that any school that misses the national benchmark of 70% students participating in school breakfast (of those that eat school lunch) change the time and location of school breakfast service to a “Breakfast After the Bell” model that gives all students access to the nutrition they need to start the day.
- that students, food service staff, educators and administrators work together to find a plan that fits best for the school.
- that a Nutrition Equity Plan is written and approved, ensuring a commitment to MPS student’s nutrition and health throughout the school year, regardless of what block they grow up on, their race, ethnicity or gender.
If you live in Milwaukee, you can send your School Board Director a message, urging them to pass the Nutrition Equity Resolution from Board Directors Baez and Phillps: Tell your Board Director to support nutrition equity in Milwaukee!