GardenShare

GardenShare

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

New ways to get food to kids when school is out


Nearly 21.5 million kids. are eligible for free or reduced-priced school meals, yet according to a 2016 report from the Food Research Action Center, only 1 in 6 of them receives that benefit over summer break.  Lack of transportation and difficulties communicating with families are often cited as barriers to summer meal participation. One way to overcome these barriers is to give families electronic benefits over the summer rather than require their children to go to a summer meals site.  Seven states currently allow this possibility. Another suggestion is to make the Summer Food Program part of the National School Lunch Plan. This would make it easier for groups that run both after-school and summer programs to feed children year round instead of having to operate two child nutrition programs with slightly different rules. It would also cut down on paperwork and administrative costs and potentially encourage more groups to sponsor sites. Other proposals include allocating funds for transportation to and from sites and lowering from 50% to 40% the eligibility requirement of kids in a school district who need to qualify for free and reduced-priced lunch in order for the district to offer summer meals.

Source: The 74, 8/17/16, Summer Meals