More kids going hungry due to funding delays
2.4 million fewer American children, on average, received a lunch through the Summer Nutrition Programs last summer, according to a report released today by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC).
FRAC’s Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation: Summer Nutrition Status Report reveals 2.4 million fewer children received a lunch on an average day in July 2022, a decrease of 44.5 percent from the previous summer. Participation rates for breakfast fell even further as 2.9 million fewer children received a breakfast on an average day in July 2022, a decrease of 61.6 percent compared to July 2021.
Congress did not extend the child nutrition waivers by the US Department of Agriculture until late June, making it difficult for many sponsors to utilize them. This delay, combined with program staffing shortages, supply chain disruptions, and many meal sites shuttering as a result of the pandemic, led to fewer children receiving a summer lunch in 2022.
Key highlights from the report:
Almost 3 million children received a lunch through the Summer Nutrition Programs on an average day in July 2022.
Just over 1.8 million children received a breakfast through the Summer Nutrition Programs on an average day in July 2022.
No state met FRAC’s goal of reaching 40 children with summer lunch for every 100 children who received free or reduced-price lunch during the 2021–2022 regular school year.
In July 2022, 11 children received a summer lunch for every 100 who received a lunch during the 2021–2022 school year.