REAP Food Group Supports Gov. Evers’ Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Plan
Last month, Governor Evers included free school meals for all, strategic investments in school breakfast funding, and a local purchasing incentive program in his proposed biennial budget. More specifically, the Governor’s Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids plan includes:
- Creating the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids program, an initiative aimed at improving student health and reducing hunger by investing $120.2 million in FY 2024-25 to fully fund school breakfasts and lunches for all children;
- Providing $4.3 million in FY 2023-24 and $4.7 million in FY 2024-25 to increase the school breakfast reimbursement rate to 15 cents per meal and extending eligibility for the reimbursement to independent charter schools and state residential schools operated by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI); and
- Incentivizing schools to support Wisconsin farmers, food producers, and local economies by providing $2.75 million in FY 2024-25 for an enhanced 10 cents reimbursement per meal for those including locally sourced foods.
Read REAP’s letter to the Joint Finance Committee HERE.
- Submit a brief video in support of free school meals for all by Friday, March 31. Full instructions are provided here. Having farmers and local food advocates speak to this issue strengthens the coalition’s ability to engage elected officials who are interested in agriculture and economic development.
3. Take a look at who is on the Joint Committee on Finance and the Education Committees (Assembly and Senate). If you know anyone from these representatives’ home districts, encourage them to contact their legislators in support of the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids plan. It is also helpful to contact any Republican legislators, even if they are not on either of these committees. You can find your elected officials here.
4. Submit a letter to the editor expressing your viewpoint. There are many local newspapers, magazines, and online media outlets that accept brief letters to the editor. Here is the submission information for Cap Times, the Journal Sentinel, and the Wisconsin State Journal.
Sign up here if you’d like to stay updated and/or be alerted about opportunities to provide public testimony. If you have direct questions, please reach out to Allison Pfaff Harris at REAP Food Group (firstname.lastname@example.org).
See additional resources from the School Nutrition Association of Wisconsin on how to set up meetings and some suggested talking points.