According to the 2016 Wisconsin Hunger Task Force, 1 in 5 children in Wisconsin live in a food-insecure household. During the 2015-2016 school year, 50% of students in the Madison public schools qualified for free or reduced lunch. Food4TI intentionally selects schools that have a higher than average rate of food insecurity: for example, 70% of Sandburg Elementary School students and 58% of East High School students qualify for free or reduced lunch. https://public.tableau.com/profile/publish/EnrollmentbyRace201516/RaceEthnicityDashboard#!/publish-confirm
Adequate Nutrition Is Critical to a Child’s Success
Scientific studies confirm that children who experience hunger are more likely to have poorer health, greater absenteeism from school, lower academic success, learning and behavioral problems (2016 Hunger Task Force). Since more than 35% of a child’s daily calories are consumed at school, the classroom can play a critical role in addressing food insecurity, including providing healthy nutrition and teaching students the tools they need to help them make healthy food choices. A well- nourished child is academically better prepared to reach his or her potential.