Food Research and Action Center (FRAC)
When school lets out for summer, some 13.5 million children lose access to healthy meals, according to this report from FRAC that finds the nation’s two federal Summer Nutrition Programs were feeding fewer than one in five eligible children in July 2007. Subsidized school lunches feed 16.3 million low-income children during the school year.
States are missing out as well – on federal funds available through the National School Lunch Program and the Summer Food Service Program. FRAC researchers calculated that collectively, states could receive an additional $222 million in funding simply by boosting participation in those programs to just 40 percent of eligible low-income children – reaching an additional 3.7 million children. In 2007, the programs were feeding only 17.5 percent of eligible children.
A nationwide expansion last year of the Simplified Summer Food Program, originally piloted in 13 states, significantly reduced administrative barriers for providers. From 2000 to 2007, the pilot states saw their summer food program participation climb by 54 percent while other states saw an average decline of 14.4 percent. The report provides 2007 summer feeding data for all states and discusses national trends. Free, 22 pages. (202) 986-2200, www.frac.org/pdf/summer_report_2008.pdf.