Expanding the Reach of the Summer Food Program

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Celia Cole /(512) 320-0222 x110

December 21, 2009

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Texas has one of the largest School Lunch Programs in the nation, serving meals to more than 2.5 million low-income children every day. The Summer Food Program is intended to serve the same population, yet it reaches only a fraction of the low-income children who eat lunch during the school year. This paper compares participation in the Summer Food Program to participation in the School Lunch Program for each county in Texas. It documents Texas’ progress in the Summer Food Program, explores the barriers to participation, and makes recommendations for expanding the reach of the program in Texas.