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Fast Facts: Alaska School and Lunch Program

December 8, 2011

COURTESY OF THE OFFICE OF ALASKA SENATE BILL WIELECHOWSKI

 

Alaskan Children In Need:

 

One out of every 8 Alaska families struggles to put enough food on the table.[USDA]

 

According to Hunger in America 2010, 74,000 Alaskans seek food assistance each

year.The study also showed that 43% of households visiting food pantries in Alaska have a

child under the age of 18. [Hunger In America]

 

An estimated 42% of Alaska students, more than 51,000 children, are eligible for free or

reduced-cost school meals.

 

School Meals Programs In Need

 

The school meal program costs the schools $58 million in output. Currently, the federal

government funds the majority of the school meal program at $32.5 million. Alaska students

pay approximately $23.4 million, leaving our schools with at least a $2.1 million shortfall.

 

Alaska is one of only twelve states in the country that does not have any state legislative

support for their school meals programs. [Alaska Food Coalition Hunger Data]

 

In Alaska, the school lunch program feeds over 36,000 students at a free/reduced rate for

lunch. School breakfast participation is over 18,000 with 14,000 of those being free/reduced

price. [FRAC scorecard]

 

Currently in Alaska, twenty percent (20%) of schools participating in the school lunch

program do not offer school breakfast, impacting 22,253 Alaskan children, 6,850 of whom are

children from low income families who qualify for free or reduced price meals.

 

There are six school districts educating 927 students in Alaska that do not offer the lunch

program or the school breakfast program.

 

For many children, these are the only nutritious meals they will get on a regular basis.

 

Alaska Missing Out On $1.9 Million

 

Alaska is in the bottom 10 states for lowest participation in the School Breakfast Program in

the nation.

 

Our state is not taking advantage of a large amount of potential federal funding that would

come to the state on a per-meal basis.

 

If Alaska lifted breakfast participation from 38.3% to 60%, the state would receive an

additional $1.9 million in federal funds.

 

Raising the rate to 60% would entail feeding approximately 8,006 additional free and reduced-

price students.[FRAC scorecard]

 

 

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