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Legislative Action Alert – Support School Breakfast Program Funding Increase!

Thursday, March 28, 2019  
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Attend the Joint Committee on Finance’s public hearings and ask them to fully fund the School Breakfast Program in the 2019-2021 biennial budget! 

The State Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance will be travelling the state to gain input from the public on the 2019-2021 state budget. We need you to attend those hearings and urge them to fully fund the School Breakfast Program! Please use the below key points, script, and the attached handout for your reference. 

 The Joint Committee on Finance’s public hearing schedule is as follows:

  • Friday, April 5, 10:00am @ Pontiac Convention Center, Janesville, WI
  • Wednesday, April 10, 10:00am @ Oak Creek Community Center, Oak Creek, WI
  • Monday, April 15, 10:00am @ University Center – Riverview Ballroom, UW – River Falls, River Falls, WI
  • Wednesday, April 24, 10:00am @ University Union – Phoenix Rooms, UW – Green Bay, Green Bay, WI

 The School Breakfast Program is critical to the academic performance of Wisconsin K-12 students. Studies have shown a nutritious breakfast helps improve a child’s mood, behavior and ability to concentrate in the classroom. Specific data shows students who eat school breakfast attend 1.5 more days of school, perform 17.5% better on math tests, and are 20% more likely to graduate.

SNA-WI encourages the Wisconsin State Legislature to fully fund the School Breakfast Program, is administered by the Department of Public Instruction and is available in 1,957 schools. While the program is funded in part by the federal government, the state of Wisconsin provides $2,510,500 in funding each year toward reimbursement to participating schools for each breakfast served under the program.

As a result of the current funding, Wisconsin schools receive approximately $0.08 per breakfast served during the current school year, despite the fact state law calls for a $0.15 per meal reimbursement rate. The combination of a flat state appropriation, continued growth and increased costs in the School Breakfast Program has resulted in lower reimbursement rates for participating schools. SNA-WI is seeking an additional $2.7 million in fiscal year 2020 and $2.8 million in fiscal year 2021 in order to fully fund the program. 

KEY POINTS
• Participation in the School Breakfast Program in Wisconsin has more than tripled since 2000. In the 2000-01 school year, 9.9 million breakfasts were served to Wisconsin students. That number will jump to an estimated 32 million served in the current school year. 

• Since 2008-09, participation in the School Breakfast Program has increased over 31% in providing 30,498,801 breakfasts in 2015 and yet, state funding for the program has been cut by more than 13% since that time.

• Since the 2008-09 school year, an additional 347 schools are now participating in the School Breakfast Program, bringing the total to 1,957 schools (including 86% of all public schools). The average number of students who participate daily in the School Breakfast Program increased to 189,000 in 2016.

• This initiative is supported by the Hunger Task Force, Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance, American Heart Association, Wisconsin Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Wisconsin Public Health Association, and Wisconsin Association of Local Health Department and Boards.

If you plan on attending, feel free to use the following outline as a guide in your testimony:

 Hello, my name is _____________.

I am an SNA-WI member. We are a statewide professional organization representing hundreds of school nutrition professionals across the state. I am also (professional role).

I am here today to talk about full funding for the school breakfast program. 

The School Breakfast Program is a federal and state assisted meal program for public and private schools. While the program is primarily funded by the federal government, the State of Wisconsin provides $2,510,500 in annual funding for reimbursement to participating schools for each breakfast served. 

As a result of current funding, Wisconsin schools receive approximately 7-cents per breakfast despite the fact state law calls for a 15-cent per meal reimbursement rate. The combination of a flat state appropriation and continued growth in the School Breakfast Program has resulted in lower reimbursement rates each year for participating schools. 

This is to the detriment of Wisconsin’s students. According to the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), Wisconsin ranked last in participation in the School Breakfast Program

Studies have shown a nutritious breakfast and lunch help improve a child’s mood, behavior and ability to concentrate in the classroom. According to data, students who eat school breakfast attend 1.5 more days of school, perform 17.5% better on math tests, and are 20% more likely to graduate. 

Please fully fund the school breakfast program by providing an additional $2.7 million in 2020 and $2.8 million in 2021 to the program. 

This initiative is supported by School Choice Wisconsin, Wisconsin Council of Religious & Independent Schools, the Hunger Task Force, Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance, American Heart Association, Wisconsin Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Wisconsin Public Health Association, and Wisconsin Association of Local Health Department and Boards. 

Thank you for serving the state of Wisconsin. As you continue through the budget process, please remember to fully fund the school breakfast program.

 If you are not able to attend, please contact your legislators, share the attached handout, and urge them fully fund the school breakfast program. To find out who your legislators are, please click here and type in your address in the upper right-hand corner. Thank you for your commitment to the school nutrition field and support for this important initiative!


School Nutrition Association of Wisconsin
563 Carter Court, Suite B, Kimberly, WI 54136
Phone: 920-560-5630 Email: SNA-WI@badgerbay.co