Challenges in Serving Rural American Children through the Summer Food Service Program

Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sites across the country are failing to reach a large majority of children in rural areas, according to this new report.

The authors from the Carsey Institute found that lack of transportation and long distances to the program sites are the largest obstacles to the establishment of rural programs.  Also, children are often uninterested in leaving home or parents discourage them from leaving, affecting the program’s participation rates.

It has been hard for some rural areas to establish sites because of the low density of children in given rural areas, and the limited number of children in service areas has made it more difficult to establish cost effective sites, the report stated.

Though families in rural America have the highest nationwide rates of poverty and food insecurity, fewer than one-third of the summer food programs are located in rural areas.  Congress has made several attempts to solve the issues related to rural communities, but it has yet to find the most effective ways to serve these children.

The authors included strategies to improve program participation and to increase sponsors and their interactions.  They also said that creating a process to evaluate the programs may help to create a model for other sites to replicate across rural America.

Free, 6 pages.


Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.


Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.


We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)



Recent Comments

Kennesaw State University Mountain Logo & Ceneter for Sustainable Journalism Logo
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2018 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
Kennesaw State University, 1200 Chastain Blvd. Suite 310, Kennesaw GA 30144

To Top