Janesville Replaces School Breakfast Clubs


The Janesville School District is replacing its remaining school breakfast clubs with the federally funded school breakfast program.The switch from the volunteer run, charity-based breakfast clubs to the federally-funded program to be run by the school district isn’t sitting well with many volunteers and some school board members.

Kevin Murray is both a school board member and a breakfast club volunteer.He says the program is a tradition.

“For over 20 years there’s been local community volunteers that come into these elementary schools raise the funds for the food and also raise the money for like trays, refrigerators, and toasters, serve free breakfast to children that want it,” he says. “They come in before school and serve them free breakfast usually toast, cheese, some cereal, fruit some milk.”

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But District Chief Financial Officer Keith Pennington says that the food and the volunteers who serve it are a liability to district.And he says its just not worth the risk.

“We looked at the program and realized we had unsupervised people that came in to the school without background checks that were untrained in food safety, food service and nutrition that were preparing and serving non documented food directly to the children,” he says.

Pennington says the federal school breakfast program will reimburse the district for the majority of costs and he expects more students will end up being served.He says the district will take over breakfast at the end of the month.