The 2010 Child Nutrition reauthorization provided funding to test innovative strategies to end childhood hunger and food insecurity. Demonstration projects were funded and implemented in Chickasaw Nation, Kentucky, Navajo Nation, Nevada, and Virginia. The reauthorization also required an independent and rigorous evaluation, which occurred in all of the sites besides Navajo Nation. The Navajo Nation project, which focused on capacity building and community outreach, was difficult to evaluate because an appropriate control group could not be identified. Therefore, the Navajo Nation demonstration was not evaluated and a final evaluation report is not available.
The Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer for Children (SEBTC) demonstration distributed a monthly benefit during the summer on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) EBT cards to children eligible for free or reduced-price school meals. The first two summers (2011 and 2012) tested a $60 benefit amount. Summer 2013 compared the impacts of a $30 benefit to a $60 benefit, and summer 2014 examined implementation strategies and benefit use patterns. This comprehensive report presents results from the analysis of pooled data from all summer demonstrations.
Evaluation of the Impact of Wave 2 Incentives Demonstrations on Participation in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP): FY 2012
The evaluation analyzed administrative data acquired from the six States that participated in the 2012 Enhanced Summer Food Service Program (eSFSP) Demonstrations to examine the impact of the demonstrations on participation. It found that the impacts on participation were mixed. For the Backpack demonstration, sites in one State increased the number of children and meals served, sites in another State served more meals but did not increase the number of children served, and both meals and children served decreased in the third State. Analysis of the Meal Delivery demonstration indicates the demonstration likely increased the number of children served.
The evaluation used interviews and site visits to capture implementation strategies and stakeholders’ views of the 2012 Enhanced Summer Food Service Program (eSFSP) demonstrations. Results indicated that sites used different strategies for recruitment and outreach; the types of food delivered; training; and technical assistance. Site administrators felt that previous experience operating an SFSP site; good use of partnerships, volunteers, consultants, and activities to make the projects family friendly; a focus on healthful eating; and careful use of resources for efficiency were important to successful implementation. Also, both participating families and site operators felt the demonstrations were an important resource to address summer hunger.
The evaluation examined the impact of a $30 per child per month benefit on child, adult and household food security relative to a $60 monthly benefit. It found that the $30 benefit was as effective in reducing the most severe category of food insecurity among children during the summer as the $60 benefit.
This Congressional report summarizes the implementation and evaluation of two approaches tested in the summers of 2011 through 2013. Summer EBT for Children (SEBTC) uses existing electronic benefits transfer systems to provide household benefits for children. The Enhanced Summer Food Service Program (eSFSP) tests several changes to the traditional program, including incentives to extend operating periods, incentives to add enrichment activities, meal delivery for children in rural areas, and weekend and holiday backpacks.
SEBTC demonstration offered a rigorous test of the impact of providing a monthly benefit of $60 per child - using existing electronic benefit transfer (EBT) systems - on food insecurity among children during the summer when school meals are not available.
Summer 2011 SFSP Home Delivery and Food Backpacks Demonstration Projects Request for Applications and Questions and Answers
Evaluation of the Summer Food Service Program Enhancement Demonstrations: 2011 Demonstration Evaluation Report
The 2010 Agricultural, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Act enabled FNS to initiate and carry out the Summer Food for Children demonstration projects, aimed at preventing food insecurity and hunger among children during summer months.
This report examines administrative data obtained from the eight states that operated the 2011 eSFSP demonstrations to assess changes within demonstration sites compared to non-demonstration sites.