Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Child Nutrition All-Year Round

Springtime means that many schools across the country will soon break for the summer. When school lets out, millions of low-income children lose access to the school breakfasts, lunches and afterschool snacks they receive during the regular school year. Summer Nutrition Programs are designed to address this problem by providing those needed meals - often times along with educational and recreational activities. The Food Resource Action Center (FRAC) provides a number of useful resources about Summer Nutrition Programs, including highlights of model summer meal programs, a summer food site locator, and a summer nutrition tool kit.

The federal government provides two sources of support for summer meals including – the Summer Food Service Program and the National School Lunch Program. For state policymakers – considering policy options to support children during their out of school time and to ensure that children do not go hungry is an important responsibility. State policymakers can help ensure that an increased number of children are served by the Summer Nutrition Programs by growing the programs through site recruitment and family outreach and passing mandates requiring that some schools operate the Summer Nutrition Programs. According to FRAC, Florida and Ohio recently passed such mandates.

For results-based policy strategies to ensure that children are healthy visit