June 13—Only one in seven low-income students who eat in the National School Lunch Program during the school year received summer meals last July, according to a new report by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC).
In July 2011, 14.6 children received summer meals for every 100 low-income children who ate school meals during the 2010-2011 school year. That's a drop from July 2008's ration of 17.3:100. FRAC found that total participation nationwide in the summer nutrition programs decreased by 112,000 children since 2008.
"FRAC's report shows that the recession has meant that more children are using the regular school year food programs, but budget cuts are causing school districts and youth services providers in many states to eliminate or reduce their summer programs. And that means fewer children are getting the summer meals they need to stay healthy and hunger free," FRAC President Jim Weill said in a press release.
While the national participation level in summer meals dropped, some states did see an increase. Hawaii, for example, saw a 71.1% increase between 2010 and 2011, and Louisiana had a 41.8% increase.