Food insecurity means a lack of regular access to basic food needs. In 2013, nearly 30,000 children in the FaHN region were food insecure (Feeding America, Map the Meal Gap). While over 33,000 (38%) students in the FaHN region received free or reduced price meals during the 2014-2015 school year, food access becomes a major challenge for families during the summer months. Children living in food insecure households are at greater risk of developmental and health-related issues, in addition to poorer academic performance and ability to focus at school.
When school is out, the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is available to help fill the gap, providing free meals and snacks to children who might otherwise be at risk of hunger. In 2015, 8,500 children in the FaHN region participated in summer meals. Still, SFSP is underused—only 26% of children in the FaHN region receiving free or reduced price meals during the school year participated in summer meals. The pilot assessment of summer meals in Broome County and the regional assessment that includes the 8-county FaHN region establish the number, capacity and location of all summer meal sites in the region, identify the unique characteristics and needs of each meal site, and determine the current and potential ability to serve additional children.
Check out the resources below to learn more about the Summer Food Service Program and find free, healthy meals in your community.
Reports & Fact Sheets:
The Importance of Child Nutrition Programs in the New York State
Hunger Doesn’t Take A Vacation: Summer Nutrition Status Report 2015
FRAC Facts: The Summer Food Service Program
USDA: Procuring Local Foods for Child Nutrition Programs
Look for additional resources and information from our statewide partners at Hunger Solutions New York.