“Children who are hungry can’t concentrate on learning:” MPS to offer free breakfast, lunch to all students

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Milwaukee Public Schools announced Monday, August 18th an amendment to its policy for serving meals to students under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs for the 2014-2015 school year.

The district is now among the first school systems in Wisconsin participating in the Community Eligibility Program (CEP), which means that all students at 156 MPS elementary, middle and high schools will be able to receive a healthy breakfast and lunch at no charge, regardless of family income.

MPS is able to participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture program, which is federally funded, because of its high percentage of students who come from low-income households. Last year, 83% of MPS students were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, which is close to double the state average in Wisconsin. This school year marks the first year Wisconsin schools are eligible to participate in CEP.

“Having every student come to school well nourished and ready to learn is absolutely critical to students’ well-being – and it’s critical to our work to improve student outcomes,” MPS Acting Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver said. “Children who are hungry can’t concentrate on learning. They’re focused on their hunger. We’re proud to help lead the effort to ensure that doesn’t happen.”

The district is now among the first school systems in Wisconsin participating in the Community Eligibility Program (CEP), which means that all students at 156 MPS elementary, middle and high schools will be able to receive a healthy breakfast and lunch at no charge, regardless of family income.

MPS is able to participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture program, which is federally funded, because of its high percentage of students who come from low-income households. Last year, 83% of MPS students were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, which is close to double the state average in Wisconsin. This school year marks the first year Wisconsin schools are eligible to participate in CEP.

Participating in the program will increase the efficiency of the district’s food service operations.

“Having every student come to school well nourished and ready to learn is absolutely critical to students’ well-being – and it’s critical to our work to improve student outcomes,” MPS Acting Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver said. “Children who are hungry can’t concentrate on learning. They’re focused on their hunger. We’re proud to help lead the effort to ensure that doesn’t happen.”

The change means MPS parents will not have to submit a meal benefits application. However, families will be asked to complete a simple, alternate survey form for the district which will be used to determine eligibility for fee waivers and other educational benefits.

They’re focused on their hunger. We’re proud to help lead the effort to ensure that doesn’t happen.”

8 comments

  • Tonya

    My high school aged daughter’s first comment upon learning this was, “That’s nice but how is it being paid for?”. Smart kid. When you go from serving about 65,000 students to over 78,000, tgen either the food quality will go down or the cost will go up. What kind of “news” article doesn’t address tge obvious question of funding?

  • opinin8d

    I’m sure this is being paid for by the cut in their welfare/food stamp benefits, since we are ALREADY paying for their food.

    Children how don’t get rest can’t concentrate either. I would recommend putting the all in an orphanage after they are born so they can be raised properly and we can change the trend of dependency.

  • guest84

    You can afford an iPhone, cigarettes, brand-name sneakers and beer – but you can’t buy cereal, milk, bread and peanut butter to feed your kids? What are you doing with those food stamps; which we’re already paying for? Priorities are screwed up.

  • Jill

    MPS is able to participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture program, which is federally funded, because of its high percentage of students who come from low-income households.

    • Tonya

      This is just a restatement of tge press release information. Yes, 83% of the MPS student population qualifies for free or reduced br3qkfast and lunch due to low income. This change will add an additional 13,000 breakfasts and lunches each school day…for students in families with more income. It will also fully subsidize breakfast and lunch costs for those who only qualified for REDUCED cost meals previously. So, to clarify, this change does bothing to feed hungry children, who were already veing given free vreakgast, free lunch, free sbacks/dinner at after school programs, free dinners at local charities, and food stamps. It simply adds thousands more students to the government system and eliminates the paperwork at an individual and school level.

  • I would rather not give a name

    well they certainly aren’t buying school supplies, coats or Christmas presents which are given to most families by charities in the poverty level. That’s it I refuse to donate to these events anymore.

  • Hopeful

    I think feeding the needy children is a wonderful idea, and it does help kids learn when they’re not hungry. But, how will MPS get deadbeat parents to get their children to school? Many children aren’t learning because their parents won’t get them to school in the morning. As for older students, many of them have already turned to crime or had a baby by the time they get to middle school. The free food program is nice, however, the parents need to be held accountable for their children as well. Free breakfast and lunch will only solve a fraction of the problem.

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.