Connect with us


Holmen school lunch director supports plans for universal lunch access in Wisconsin schools



School lunch programs in Wisconsin got some attention this week, when Governor Tony Evers met with Holmen High School staffers about offering free breakfast and lunch to students.  The nutrition service director for the Holmen Schools, Mike Gasper, supports the idea of the government paying for school meals.

“These kids struggle when they’re hungry,” says Gasper. “Honestly, if you really want to break the cycle of poverty, they have to do well in school. If they’re not eating, they’re not going to do well in school.”

Mike Gasper (far right) was among the people who spoke with Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers in the kitchen at Holmen High School during the governor’s visit on Mar. 13th, 2023

Gasper says about 25 per cent of Holmen students qualify for free or reduced-cost meals now.  The percentage is 50 per cent or higher in La Crosse and some other nearby districts.

Gasper says kids took advantage of free lunch programs at high levels during the COVID outbreak.

“It wasn’t just the kids,” he says. “It was everybody, was eating, and I think it was a different atmosphere in schools. There was a sense of community in these schools. It was a good thing.”

While many people don’t think government should pay for school meals, Gasper says students don’t have to pay for their own desks or books.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

Continue Reading
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Kevin Keeffe

    March 17, 2023 at 10:35 am

    Honestly – there are more problems fouling up our schools than being hungry or not eating lunch! Math, Reading, Writing, American Government, none of these classes are being taught well, or at at a very least, the students are not being held accountable for the content of the classes. Discipline and decorum in our schools is near totally absent, evidenced by dress code, hall way language, and the unwillingness of teachers to discipline. I have walked the hallways of our schools at different times, listened the language, witnessed the dress and behaviors. Our schools are failing, period, has very little or nothing to do with ‘free lunch’available.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *