Hunger Doesn’t take a Vacation – Summer Nutrition Status Report 2014

Source: Kate Sims, Signe Anderson, Crystal FitzSimons, Michael Burke, and Hannah Kapp-Klote, Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), June 2014

The summer of 2013 marked an important potential turning point for the Summer Nutrition Programs. The substantive increase in the number of children served demonstrates what is possible when USDA leads the charge, state child nutrition agencies rally in support of the programs, and national, state, and local organizations work together to expand the programs’ reach. USDA’s expansion campaign has created strong momentum to continue growing participation. A steady and strong focus on program expansion—including aggressive outreach and promotion of the programs; policy solutions to the administrative barriers that limit participation; and improvements to the nutrition quality and appeal of the meals served—is necessary to continue to increase access to the Summer Nutrition Programs. The programs need to reach more of the low-income children who rely on school lunch during the school year. Serving just one hungry child in seven is not enough. The 2015 Child Nutrition Reauthorization also provides an important opportunity to invest in the Summer Nutrition Programs so they are better able to serve low-income children and support summer programming and activities, ensuring that children return to school in the fall well-nourished and ready to learn.