FNS Documents & Resources
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.
Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children (SEBTC) Demonstration: Evaluation Findings for the Third Implementation Year: 2013 Final Report
The Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children (SEBTC) demonstration uses the SNAP and WIC EBT systems to deliver benefits to children during summer months. 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. However, the $30 benefit was only about half as effective as the $60 benefit at reducing the less severe but more prevalent food security among children. Results were similar across SNAP and WIC sites.
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.
Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children (SEBTC) Demonstration: Evaluation Findings for the Full Implementation Year 2012 Final Report
The Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children (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. In the second year of operations, when the demonstration was fully implemented, the evaluation found that this approach could reach up to 75 percent of eligible children and reduce the prevalence of very low food security among children by about one-third.
The Simplified Summer Food Program (“Simplified Summer”) is a modified version of the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The modifications allow reimbursements at a fixed rate rather than limiting reimbursement to administrative and operating costs documented by the individual provider. Simplified Summer was based on the Lugar Pilot Project (“Pilot”) which was in place from FY 2001 to FY 2004. Simplified Summer began operating in FY 2005 and extends the summer food program benefits, first established in the Pilot, to additional states. Meals served are reimbursed at the allowable rates under SFSP without regard to actual or budgeted costs. Sponsoring organizations in Simplified Summer do not have to report costs in order to receive reimbursement, nor are they limited to using administrative funds strictly for administration. The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 required that the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) evaluate the impact of Simplified Summer which now operates in 26 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-265) authorized a pilot to operate in rural Pennsylvania during the summers of 2005 and 2006. The purpose was to test whether lowering the site eligibility threshold from 50 percent to 40 percent would increase the number of children participating in the program. The legislation directed USDA, through the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), to evaluate the impact of the pilot eligibility criterion on: (1) the number of sponsors operating sites that offer meals under the SFSP, (2) the number of sites offering meals through SFSP, (3) the geographic locations of sites, (4) services provided at the sites, and (5) other factors influencing participation.