Senate Passes Bill to Help Fund Meals Program for School Kids
Sen. Wielechowski’s SB 213 will provide state match for schools taking partin the federal breakfast and lunch program
Wednesday, April 14, 2010, Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska Senate today approved legislation to provide a state match for schools taking part in the federal Free and Reduced Prices School Breakfast and Lunch Program. SB 213, sponsored by Senator Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, will encourage more schools to provide nutritious meals for underprivileged children and allow schools that already do so to improve their programs. Senator Wielechowski noted that Alaska is one of the only states that currently does not help supplement the program.
“Currently in Alaska, thirty-two percent of schools offering school lunch do not offer school breakfast, leaving 10,000 Alaskan children with no access to affordable breakfast,” Senator Wielechowski said. “For many children, these are the only nutritious meals they will get on a regular basis.”
SB 213 will provide school districts with a base amount of 35 cents for each breakfast served and 15 cents per lunch. To compensate for higher costs, rural schools will receive additional assistance through a funding formula based on the applicable School District Cost Factor for each district.Senator Wielechowski said SB 213 was requested by the Food Bank of Alaska, The Alaska Food Coalition, and the Alaska School Nutrition Association. The bill has been endorsed by the Yakutat Board of Education, the Petersburg Indian Association, the Petersburg School District, the Lower Kuskokwim School District, the Bering Strait School Board, the Cordova School District, the Yupiit School District, the Kenai Peninsula School District, the Chugach School District, and the AARP. SB 213 heads next to the House of Representatives for consideration.