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Lunch program helps kids in poverty

Nov. 19, 2012

A study highlighted in a July 23 Lake Country Publications article showed that as many as 60 children are homeless in western Waukesha County.

The Mukwonago School District had the highest number, followed by Oconomowoc, said the Rev. Stephen Welch, who is leading an effort to provide shelter for homeless families through a program called Family Promise.

"All of the school districts had some; none (of the school districts) had none," he explained.

A telling statistic: The number of students who qualify for free lunches at local schools is on the rise. During the 2006-07 school year, 8.2 percent of the student body in the Hamilton School District was eligible for free lunch. In 2011-12, that number sat at 14.3 percent.

Almost every school district in the area saw a similar phenomenon.

Kettle Moraine jumped from 6 percent in 2006-07 to 10.4 percent last year, while Mukwonago's numbers edged upward from 6.6 percent to 13.6 percent a year ago.

Oconomowoc was at 9.2 percent in 2006-07 and at 20 percent by 2011-12.

The percentage of Pewaukee students receiving free lunches increased from 7.2 percent to 13.6 percent, and the Waukesha School District experienced an increase from 24.7 percent to 34.7 percent in just six years.

Even Arrowhead High School, which had only 28 students on free and reduced lunches in 2006-07 in a self-funded program, was forced to adopt the federal lunch program in the 2010-11 school year because of an increase in need.

Now, 202 students are on the program.

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Weekend Happenings

Featured this week:  

Rotary Pancake Day: 7:30 a.m. Feb. 28, Waukesha County Expo Center, 1000 Northview Road, Waukesha. Fundraiser for the Waukesha Rotary Club is 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Expo Center Arena. Advance tickets at Waukesha State Bank, downtown location., $5-$7. $5 advance, $7 at the door; free for children 5 and younger. www.waukesharotary.org.

Ninth Annual Oconomowoc Rotary Wine & Brew Fest: 5 p.m. Feb. 28, Olympia Resort, 1350 Royale Mile Rd, Oconomowoc. Wine, food and beer. Features foods from the best of our local restaurants. Purchase tickets at $50 from an O-Town Rotarian, through Facebook, or in person at most area First Bank Financial Centre locations, Books & Company & Lorleberg True Value Hardware. See more at www.oconomowocrotary.org. $50.

Chili Tasting: 11 a.m. Feb. 28, The Garden Mart, W297 S9115 Highway 83, Mukwonago. Chili tasting from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Local vendors will be selling unique merchandise. Judging is open to the public and all proceeds from voting will be donated to the Mukwonago Food Pantry. Event is free. Call (262) 363-5252 for information.

Dr. Seuss Birthday Bash Literacy Event: 10 a.m. Feb. 28, Hartland North Elementary, 232 Church Street, Hartland. Families with children in 4-year old kindergarten through second grade are invited to a special event. The Cat in the Hat and the Lorax will celebrate with a big birthday cake for all of our guests along with lots of literacy activities based around Dr. Seuss books.

Updates to this calendar are made weekly Monday afternoon. 

 

All weekend happenings.