This report measures the reach of the Summer Nutrition Programs in July 2015, nationally and in each state. This report is based on a variety of metrics and it examines the impact of trends and policies on program participation.
First, the report looks at lunch participation in the Summer Nutrition Programs — the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), among children certified for free and reduced-price meals, combined — using free and reduced-price participation in NSLP in the prior regular school year as a benchmark against which to compare summer. Because there is broad participation in the regular school year lunch program by low-income students across the states, it is a useful comparison by which to measure how many students could — and should — be benefiting from the Summer Nutrition Programs.
Second, the report looks at the number of sponsors and sites operating SFSP, as this is an important indicator of access to the program for low-income children in the states.
Finally, the report sets an ambitious, but achievable, goal of reaching 40 children with the Summer Nutrition Programs for every 100 participating in school lunch and calculates the number of unserved children and the federal dollars lost in each state that is not meeting this goal.