Wednesday, June 29, 2016
HUNGER DOESN’T TAKE A SUMMER VACATION
After three years of significant growth, national participation in the Summer Nutrition Programs plateaued last summer. During July 2015, the programs served nearly 3.2 million low-income children across the country, a modest increase of 11,000 participants from July 2014. The Child Nutrition Reauthorization currently being considered by Congress provides an important opportunity to invest in the Summer Nutrition Programs so that more children return to school in the fall, well-nourished and ready to learn. A new report measures the success of the summer programs both in absolute numbers and as a ratio of the number of children receiving summer meals to the number of low-income children receiving school lunch during the regular school year. By that latter measure, fewer than one in six children who needed summer nutrition received it in 2015. Even though total participation in Connecticut decreased from 2014 to 2015, at about 25%, the state’s ratio of summer participants was among the top 5 in the nation.