USDA announces results of summer feeding pilots

Sept. 15—The US Department of Agriculture announced results of two pilot programs in Arkansas and Mississippi designed to increase participation in summer meals programs among low-income children. The results showed that the pilot program increased the average participation rate by 35% in Arkansas and by 19% in Mississippi.

The study was done to assess the impact of two 2010 Enhanced Summer Food Service Program demonstrations designed to prevent food insecurity and hunger among children during the summer months when school is out, according to the USDA. The Arkansas demonstration offered per-lunch incentives to encourage SFSP providers or sponsors to operate for a greater portion of the summer. The Mississippi demonstration offered new recreational or educational activities at SFSP feeding sites to foster higher levels of participation. The USDA admits that the two pilots and their incentives were but one factor that may have influenced the increase in participation results.

The USDA is running additional projects this year, including testing home delivery of meals and a backpack food program for kids when the traditional SFSP is not operating, as well as household-based summer feeding approaches using the EBT infrastructure of SNAP and WIC.

“Hunger doesn’t take a summer vacation, and the Summer Food Service Program helps to ensure that disadvantaged children receive the wholesome, nutritious meals they need when school is out,” Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon said in a press release. “Through these demonstration projects, we hope to find innovative ways to increase access to and participation in this valuable program, to help fill the summer nutrition gap.”

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Just over 100 foodservice workers at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., have voted to join a branch of the Service Employees International Union, KIMT reports.

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota said that 89% of the ballots cast during last week’s election were in favor of unionizing.

The workers are employed by Sodexo, Mayo Clinic’s current foodservice vendor. The clinic recently announced plans to switch vendors to Morrison Healthcare Food Services, a move that has sparked backlash from workers and led to a lawsuit from the SEIU .

Read the full story via .

Sponsored Content
pasta dish from NC State

From Barilla.

Good-for-you food doesn’t do much good if it’s a hard sell to get diners to eat it. Luckily, pasta is nearly always a crowd-pleaser, especially with student athletes who benefit from its nutritional boost.

“One thing about pasta is that students like it,” says Lisa Eberhart, a registered dietician and director of nutrition and wellness for North Carolina State University, where they serve Barilla pasta. “It’s also a great source of slow-burning carbohydrates.”

In fact, 57% of Gen Z consumers and 58% of millennials call pasta a “preferred food,”...

Industry News & Opinion

The Los Angeles Unified School District has lifted its ban on flavored milk in an effort to reduce food waste, the Los Angeles Times reports.

After implementing the ban in 2011, the district noticed that many students would simply throw away their unused milk containers, causing them to end up in landfills. In order to combat the problem, the district’s board is launching a four-part study in 21 schools that will examine different ways to encourage kids to drink more plain milk.

One of the theories proposed is that students will be more likely to drink plain milk if they...

Industry News & Opinion

As Harvard University’s dining staff strike continues , the school has added an extra $25 to student accounts, providing more flexibility for students to eat outside of the dining halls, The Harvard Crimson reports.

The extra funds were added to Crimson Cash and BoardPlus accounts, which students can use to pay for food both on and off campus.

Aside from some technical issues with payment processing, students are grateful for the extra money, according to The Harvard Crimson.

Since the strike began two weeks ago, students have complained about food quality in the...

FSD Resources