School Breakfast Spotlight: West Allis West Milwaukee
“I don’t know how you can expect any child to be at their best without that first meal.” – Jessica Moe, Principal at Longfellow Elementary School.
Longfellow Elementary in West Allis had a school breakfast program, but students weren’t eating. Teachers ended up buying drawer’s full of snacks to keep kids fed. So, after partnering with Hunger Task Force, they implemented a “Breakfast In the Classroom” program. Since they started the program, they’ve nearly TRIPLED the number of kids eating school breakfast, and have consequently seen strong positive change in their students.
Third Annual Wisconsin School Breakfast Report
In Wisconsin, 1 in 6 children live in poverty, and hunger is real for far too many families. Child poverty and hunger rates in Wisconsin are comparable to surrounding states, yet Wisconsin continues to rank dead last in the nation for offering school breakfast to children. Increasing participation in the School Breakfast Program is a necessary strategy to improve student health and prepare students to learn.
The third annual Wisconsin School Breakfast Report analyzes access to and participation in school breakfast throughout the state. This report also looks back and highlights districts that have improved their participation in the School Breakfast Program. The purpose of the School Breakfast Report is to help connect districts to resources that help their students, and to empower districts to share solutions directly with each other through peer-to-peer connections.
We’ve heard it time and again: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yet every morning, hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin children start their day with an empty stomach. Research has shown that hungry students have poorer academic and health outcomes. But, children who eat breakfastare absent from school less often, have a decreased risk of being overweight, exhibit better behavior, and score higher on math and reading assessments.
Thanks to the support from the No Kid Hungry Campaign, thousands more children in Wisconsin are starting their school day with breakfast. Hunger Task Force has worked with over 50 schools in Wisconsin to implement alternative breakfast models. By moving breakfast from before the school day and in the cafeteria, to after the first bell and in the classroom, all kids are able to start their day on an even playing field.
This is why Hunger Task Force produced the Third Annual School Breakfast Report. The report analyzes childhood poverty, school breakfast access, and school breakfast participation in districts across Wisconsin. This report also provides individual scorecards for 20 select school districts. See how your district measures up and read customized recommendations districts can use to ensure more hungry students start their day with breakfast!
“We know kids need fuel each morning to learn, and in school district after school district, we’ve seen the difference Breakfast in the Classroom can make,” said Adrienne Allen, Director, No Kid Hungry, Social Innovation Fund. “We’ve talked to teachers and school staff who have seen breakfast transform their students’ lives. Some who initially had reservations now tell us it’s the best thing that’s happened in their classroom.”
Highlighting School Breakfast Across Wisconsin
We all know how important school meals are. Which is why the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and Hunger Task Force teamed up this year for the Student School Breakfast Video Contest! Teams of students from school districts across the state created and submitted original videos telling us why their school breakfasts rock.
Want to do something about this?
Make your voice heard, join Voices Against Hunger. You’ll be joining over 1,000 people who email, call and write their representatives telling them to support ending hunger in our community.