Operations

Wisconsin bill would provide additional state funding to schools who offer universal free meals

Under SB 720, public and private schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program and National School Breakfast and serve students free breakfast and lunch each day would be eligible to receive additional funding from the state. 
Students eating lunch in the cafeteria
Wisconsin schools who offer free meals to all students would be eligible for additional state funding under a new bill. | Photo: Shutterstock

Wisconsin lawmakers have introduced a bill that would provide additional funding for schools in the state that offer universal free meals. 

Under SB 720, public and private schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program and National School Breakfast Program and serve students free breakfast and lunch each day would be eligible to receive additional funding from the state. 

The bill has been referred to the Committee on Education.

Earlier this year, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers included funding to provide all students in the state with free meals at school in his 2023-25 executive budget, however, the measure failed to be included in the final budget. 

During the early days of the pandemic, every school in the state was able to provide free meals at school to all students via a series of child nutrition waivers administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, however, the waivers expired in June 2022

The School Nutrition Association (SNA) has advocated for universal free meals and has also endorsed increasing the school meal reimbursement rate

See which states currently offer universal free meals via the map below: