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Nebraska’s Summer Lunch Program Troubles

According to a report released earlier this summer by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), Nebraska has fallen to 46th nationally in its participation in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). In 2014, nearly 125,000 children in Nebraska under the age of 18 qualify for free and reduced lunch, but only around 8.5% (11,000) participated in Summer lunch programs, which is a 5.5% drop from previous years. The drop in participation seems to overlap with a decline in sites that provide the meals themselves. Summer meal programs are extremely important to children under the poverty line when school lets out, as schools are the main entity that can consistently put food on the table for them. This is an issue that needs to monitored going forward. If participation continues to decline, intervention by either the State or Federal government might be necessary to keep children healthy after the bell has last rung for the school year.

Photo by U.S. Department of Agriculture

Photo by U.S. Department of Agriculture

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