November 7, 2023

Democrats Reintroduce Healthy School Meals For All Bill

Democrats Reintroduce Healthy School Meals For All Bill Featured Image

Democrats in the Wisconsin Legislature have reintroduced the Healthy School Meals for All bill to make free breakfast and lunch available to all K-12 students in Wisconsin regardless of family income.

Assembly Representative Kristina Shelton of Green Bay, one of the bill’s authors, said the goal of the initiative is to make sure students are not hungry when they are trying to learn. Studies show that hunger negatively impacts children’s ability to concentrate and learn.

“That significant investment, and that recognition that every kid, every family, every Wisconsinite will benefit from this universal program, then we can really address some of the other issues in school meals,” Shelton said.

At a November 6 Capitol news conference, speakers said the state can fund the program with the budget surplus to make sure kids aren’t hungry when they’re trying to learn.

WEAC President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen said the Healthy School Meals bill is an investment in the future just as many other educational programs and initiatives are.

“Investment in healthy school meals pays back many times over,” Wirtz-Olsen said. “It improves students’ educational outcomes and health, saves families time and money, removes stigma for low-income families, it is equitable, and it supports Wisconsin’s local farmers.”