Soglin knocks school nutrition program funding cuts
Mayor Paul Soglin said Tuesday that the proposal to cut funding for Wisconsin’s Farm to School program is a “fake austerity measure.”Image By: Leah Voskuil
Madison Mayor Paul Soglin says cutting funding to a state nutritional program that encourages locally-grown food in schools sends a message to the community: Wisconsin lawmakers prioritize penny-pinching over health and agricultural benefits.
“Governor Scott Walker sent a strong and unfortunate message to the people of Wisconsin,” Soglin said Tuesday in a press release. “That message: The health of Wisconsin schoolchildren and vitality of Wisconsin farmers is unimportant when the State can save a few pennies to eliminate a program that provides over $9 million in local food to over 565,000 students in Wisconsin.”
Walker’s 2017-’19 budget proposal would save $86,000 annually by scaling back the state’s Farm to School program by removing numerous job posts, including a program coordinator and an entire 15-member advisory council.
Soglin called cutting those positions a “fake austerity measure,” noting they have played important roles in securing grants for the state and in funding millions of dollars to farmers.
“To allow this program, which has been a trailblazer in the nation and has made tremendous gains since the hiring of a Coordinator, to lose staffing support, is a setback in our efforts to get nutritious Wisconsin food to every child,” he said.
Farm to School provides locally grown food to the students, an economic boost to the farming sector and increased agricultural education in schools.Subscribe to The Daily Cardinal Newsletter