Participation in summer meal program for low-income children plateaus

A new report from the Food Research & Action Center shows national participation in the Summer Food Service Program and the National School Lunch Program plateaued in 2015 after three years of considerable growth.

The Summer Food Service Program is a U.S. Department of Agriculture program that helps low-income children receive meals when school is not in session. The National School Lunch Program is a federally assisted program that operates in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions across the country.

Together, the two programs served nearly 3.2 million low-income American children last summer, which is only 11,000 more children than was served in 2014.

"Status quo is not good enough when it comes to the well-being of our nation's children," said FRAC President Jim Weill. "More must be done to expand access to summer meals if we are to close the hunger gap and reduce the summer 'learning slide' for millions of our nation's children. Greater investments are needed to make these good programs even better."

Food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition affect the health of its victims and create financial burdens for healthcare systems, insurers, taxpayers and the government.

The District of Columbia, New Mexico, Vermont, New York and Connecticut had the highest student participation in summer nutrition programs. Oklahoma, Mississippi, Kentucky, Kansas and Hawaii had the lowest participation rates.

To learn more, access the full report here.



More articles on hunger and population health:
How one health system addressed 2,000 patients' social needs in 2 years
Americans on food stamps are 'overfed but undernourished'
Study measures impact of hunger on hospitalization


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