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Evaluation of the Summer Food Service Program Enhancement Demonstrations: 2011 Demonstration Evaluation Report

The 2010 Agricultural, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Act enabled the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to initiate and carry out the Summer Food for Children demonstration projects, aimed at preventing food insecurity and hunger among children during summer months. The projects include the Enhanced Summer Food Service Program or “eSFSP” demonstrations, which test the impact of a number of enhancements to the existing Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The eSFSP demonstrations include four separate initiatives, two of which began in summer 2010 with the other two launching in summer 2011. This report presents exploratory findings from the evaluation of four types of demonstrations in eight States: The Extending Length of Operation Incentive demonstration (2010-2011) in Arkansas; The Activity Incentive demonstration (2010-2011) in Mississippi; The Meal Delivery demonstration (2011-2012) in Delaware, Massachusetts, and New York; and The Backpack demonstration (2011-2012) in Arizona, Kansas, and Ohio.

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Evaluation of the Impact of Enhancement Demonstrations on Participation in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP): FY 2011

This report examines administrative data obtained from the eight States that operated the 2011 eSFSP demonstrations to assess changes within demonstration sites compared to non-demonstration sites. Outcomes include the total number of meals served, the days of operation, and the total number of children served (as measured by average daily attendance or ADA). The influence of the 2011 demonstrations on food consumption and food security, as well as analyses of the implementation and costs of the demonstrations, are examined in a separate report.

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Evaluation of the 14 State Summer Food Service Program Pilot Project

In December 2000, the Secretary of Agriculture was authorized, through the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), to conduct a Pilot to increase SFSP participation in a number of States with low rates of feeding low-income children in the summer. States were eligible to participate in the Pilot if the proportion of low-income children they served in July 1999 through SFSP and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) relative to March 1999 NSLP participation was below 50 percent of the national average. Fourteen States, including Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Texas, and Wyoming, met the criteria and are participating in the Pilot. For the purpose of this Pilot, Puerto Rico is defined as a State. This 3-year Pilot began in fiscal year 2001 and has been extended until June 30, 2004. Under the Pilot, meals served by eligible sponsors in the 14 States are reimbursed at the maximum allowable rate. In addition, administrative record keeping for the Pilot sponsors was reduced since they were no longer required to record administrative and operating costs separately and they did not have to report costs to State Agencies.

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Evaluation of the Impact of Incentives Demonstrations on Participation in the Summer Food Service Programs (SFSP): FY 2010 Arkansas and Mississippi

Pursuant to the 2010 Agriculture Appropriations Act, FNS initiated and carried out the Summer Food for Children demonstration project, aimed at preventing food insecurity and hunger among children during summer months. The project includes the “eSFSP” demonstrations, which are testing the impact of a number of enhancements to the existing Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), and the “Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children” (SEBTC) demonstrations, which will test a household-based benefit provided to families with children during the summer months. The eSFSP demonstrations include four separate initiatives, two of which began in summer 2010 with two more planned for launch in summer 2011. This report presents findings from the 2010 eSFSP demonstrations in Arkansas and Mississippi.

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The Pennsylvania SFSP Rural Area Eligibility Pilot Evaluation

The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-265) authorized a pilot to operate in rural Pennsylvania during the summers of 2005 and 2006. The purpose was to test whether lowering the site eligibility threshold from 50 percent to 40 percent would increase the number of children participating in the program. The legislation directed USDA, through the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), to evaluate the impact of the pilot eligibility criterion on: (1) the number of sponsors operating sites that offer meals under the SFSP, (2) the number of sites offering meals through SFSP, (3) the geographic locations of sites, (4) services provided at the sites, and (5) other factors influencing participation.

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Report to Congress: USDA's Simplified Summer Food Program 2001-2006

The Simplified Summer Food Program (“Simplified Summer”) is a modified version of the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The modifications allow reimbursements at a fixed rate rather than limiting reimbursement to administrative and operating costs documented by the individual provider. Simplified Summer was based on the Lugar Pilot Project (“Pilot”) which was in place from FY 2001 to FY 2004. Simplified Summer began operating in FY 2005 and extends the summer food program benefits, first established in the Pilot, to additional states. Meals served are reimbursed at the allowable rates under SFSP without regard to actual or budgeted costs. Sponsoring organizations in Simplified Summer do not have to report costs in order to receive reimbursement, nor are they limited to using administrative funds strictly for administration. The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 required that the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) evaluate the impact of Simplified Summer which now operates in 26 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

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Analysis of Summer Food Service Program and Food Needs of Nonparticipating Children

The Analysis of the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Food Needs of Non-participating Children was designed to determine why children who attended elementary school during the 2003-2004 school year and were eligible for free or reduced-price meals did not participate in SFSP. For the purposes of this report, children who are eligible for free or reduced-priced meals will be referred to as "SFSP-eligible children." The target sample for this study was a nonprobability sample of 200 households with elementary school-aged, SFSP-eligible children. Results of the survey cannot be generalized nationwide due to the limited sample size and the restricting of sampling to households in areas of Miami, FL; Kansas City, MO; Oakland, CA; and Salisbury, MD. Eighty-three percent of the households included non-participating SFSP-eligible children while 17 percent included participating SFSP-eligible children