In December 2000, the Secretary of Agriculture was authorized, through the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), to conduct a pilot to increase SFSP participation in a number of states with low rates of feeding low-income children in the summer. States were eligible to participate in the pilot if the proportion of low-income children they served in July 1999 through SFSP and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) relative to March 1999 NSLP participation was below 50 percent of the national average.
Fourteen states, including Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Texas and Wyoming, met the criteria and are participating in the pilot. For the purpose of this pilot, Puerto Rico is defined as a state. This 3-year pilot began in fiscal year 2001 and has been extended until June 30, 2004. Under the pilot, meals served by eligible sponsors in the 14 states are reimbursed at the maximum allowable rate. In addition, administrative record keeping for the pilot sponsors was reduced since they were no longer required to record administrative and operating costs separately and they did not have to report costs to state agencies.