About This Summer Food Report
This report measures the reach of the Summer Nutrition Programs in July 2019, nationally and in each state. It is based on a variety of metrics and examines the impact of trends and policies on program participation.
First, this report looks at average weekday lunch participation in the Summer Nutrition Programs — the combined lunch participation in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), which includes children participating through the NSLP Seamless Summer Option and those certified for free and reduced-price meals. The report then uses free and reduced-price participation in NSLP in the prior regular school year as a benchmark against which to compare summer. Because there is broad participation in the regular school year lunch program by low-income students across the states, it is a useful comparison by which to measure how many students could and should be benefiting from the Summer Nutrition Programs.
Second, this report looks at the number of sponsors and sites operating SFSP, as this is an important indicator of access to the program for low-income children.
Finally, this report sets an ambitious but achievable goal of reaching 40 children with the Summer Nutrition Programs for every 100 participating in school lunch, and calculates the number of unserved children and the federal dollars lost in each state that is not meeting this goal.
The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) is the leading national organization working for more effective public and private policies to eradicate domestic hunger and undernutrition. For more information about FRAC, Summer Nutrition Programs, or to sign up for FRAC’s Meals Matter Newsletter or FRAC’s Weekly News Digest, visit frac.org.
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