In conjunction with the June 29th Summer Meals Kick-Off Event, Hunger Free America released a report on the barrier analysis of the summer meals program in NYC. The report highlights reasons why so many students who utilize free and subsidized school meals programs during the school year, do not participate in the summer meals program. The report highlights the reasons for these barriers as well as provides solutions in overcoming them.
A few highlights:
- Convenience is a key factor in determining whether parents and caregivers do or do not take their children to summer meals sites.
- Families that frequently attend summer meals sites are most likely to say that they attend for both the free meals AND the activities.
- Half of families who do not participate in the summer meals program do not know where sites are located or other key information about the program.
- When asked how they first learned about the program, summer meals participants cite community outreach (like letters sent home from school) most often, followed by advertising and word of mouth.
- Issues with program regulations or the food itself are not top reasons for lack of participation, but they are not unimportant. Stigma did not seem to be much of a factor.
- Overall, low-income communities have a very favorable view of the summer meals program.
To read the full report, click here: