WI Teacher says “students aren’t being fed”

(first published on WIvoices.org)

UPDATE: CLARIFICATION 5/3/12

WIvoices.org has removed this statement at the end of this article: “According to Farrington, this has come to fruition as every couple of weeks “there is no food left for the backpack program…so the teachers (help with) that.”

Farrington was referring to the recent across the board state cuts affecting the backpack program, not to specific cuts to her school district. Teachers use their own time and money to offset the cuts.  WIvoices.org is responsible for all the information in this article.

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Meg Farrington (29-year veteran teacher from Somerset, WI) explains that some students are struggling with hunger in school and how teachers have “stepped up to the plate” to bridge the gap and fill the need in the community. Farrington said “because of Governor Walker’s cuts” at the state level, consequences in policy choices have become reality for the most vulnerable children in rural Wisconsin.

 For instance, public school districts have a cooperative agreement with social services to feed hungry children through a “backpack program” in which children are given food to take home over the weekend. I contacted Duana Bremer (local Director of Social Services) for comment, “the demand keeps going up and everything is more difficult”. Her crew packs over 900 backpacks/week for hungry children and issued a press release detailing the need in the community.

Before this backpack program, teachers and nurses reported that some children were “begging” for food, experiencing stomach issues, and were “agitated” and unable to learn due to hunger related issues. The backpack program eliminated these issues; however, due to budget cuts the program is now threatened.

WIvoices.org previously interviewed Bremer, on July 30, 2011 about this issue. At that time, Bremer worried that the backpack program would suffer due to the cuts at the state level.

Wanna help? Contact Duana Bremer @ 715-485-1221/duana_bremer@usc.salvationarmy.org

Stay tuned for Farrington’s entire verbatim interview ~ to be released soon.

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4 Responses to WI Teacher says “students aren’t being fed”

  1. Mikhail says:

    How many of these parents find money to smoke and buy beer? Just sayin…
    Our downtrodden and poor live like kings when compared to 3rd world countries.

    The Salvation Army is the way to go with this.

  2. Avatar of wizconie wizconie says:

    I’m glad the teachers are helping out, we all should take care of our kids. Sad that they have to use the kids as pawns in their misguided fight in this recall against Walker. I’m sure these programs needed funds before Act 10 but now that it can be used for political points people like Ms Farrington are too eager to do so.

  3. Adam Wienieski says:

    As a 29 year Wisconsin state employee Ms Farrington is eligible for two outrageously generous benefits negotiated for her by those selfless public employee unions. ASLCC (Accumulated Sick Leave Conversion Credit Program) and SHICC (Supplemental Health Insurance Conversion Credit Program) give state employees 16 sick days per year that can be used or “banked” and converted at retirement to pay for health insurance premiums until the retiree qualifies for Medicare coverage at age 65.

    The average cash value of unused sick leave for the 2,699 retirees who left state service between January 1 and September 25 was $97,779.93 EACH. Do you know anyone in the private sector planning to retire at 55 with company paid health insurance for 10 years? The combined value of the payouts from the two sick leave conversion credit programs available to state employees who retired in 2011 is over $350 million.

    Would Ms Farrington or her union be willing to give back a small part of that jackpot to feed the starving children since it’s all about the children? I didn’t think so.

    Don’t believe me; read the report based on Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) data for yourself at:

    http://maciverinstitute.com/2011/10/retiring-state-workers-converted-average-of-43-weeks-unused-sick-leave-this-year/

  4. Eric Larson says:

    Its up to local communities to step up to the plate. Neighbor helping neighbor. Not taxing everyone to help everyone. Its amazing how all it is around here is Walker bashing. Last time I checked my taxes this last year stayed in check or were less than the previous. I work hard for my paycheck and maybe if others felt the same our society wouldnt be so horrid.
    Maybe instead of wasting time on writing and reading these articles we helped out a neighbor or two. Its amazing how you can take something and run up and down the street with a megaphone…but at the end of the day what have you really accomplished.
    All should be ashamed….

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