Report: Fewer Nebraska kids being fed in summer

NE_Appleseed_Icons_FoodSecurity-128For Immediate Release

June 2, 2014

Contact, Jeff Sheldon
Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed
Office: (402) 438-8853
Mobile: (402) 840-7289
jsheldon@neappleseed.org

Nebraska Participation Drops in Summer Food Program

Fewer Nebraska kids served summer meals in 2013

LINCOLN — Participation in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) dropped in Nebraska in 2013 according to a nationwide survey released today. This means more kids in our state from low-income families struggled to find nutritious meals during the summer months.

According to the report, “Hunger Doesn’t Take A Vacation,” released by the Food Research and Action Center, about 300 fewer Nebraska children per day got meals through the Summer Food Service Program in 2013 than in 2012 representing a 2.9 percent drop.

Most alarmingly, Nebraska had the nation’s biggest decrease in the percentage of summer food sites from 2012 to 2013. Only 160 sites offered kids summer meals in 2013 compared to 225 in 2012 – a drop of 28.9 percent.

Read the full report: “Hunger Doesn’t Take A Vacation

“Policymakers, state agencies, and organizations around the state are working hard to ensure our kids are getting enough to eat in the summer months, but this new report shows Nebraska has more work to do,” said James Goddard, director of Nebraska Appleseed’s Economic Justice Program. “When the school year ends, thousands of Nebraska kids stop receiving regular, nutritious meals. We are a stronger state when all of our kids get adequate food during the summer and return to school in the fall healthy and ready to learn.”

It’s not too late for Nebraska communities to make a difference to feed more kids in need. Organizations can learn more about starting or supporting summer food programs from Nebraska Department of Education, and the USDA Food and Nutrition Service has a Summer Meals Toolkit to help organizations learn about supporting summer food participation at any level of program administration.

“As the economy continues to recover, childhood poverty rates remain far too high. It is essential for Nebraska communities to take steps to ensure no child goes hungry during the summer,” Goddard said. “We encourage community leaders to explore starting or supporting summer food sites in their towns and neighborhoods because healthier kids lead to healthier and stronger Nebraska communities.”

To find a Nebraska summer food site visit www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks.

 

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