|Detailed Objective: This study designs an evaluation of the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), and
provides a cost estimate of completing the evaluation. The study will determine
appropriate sampling methods, and design appropriate surveys, to extract detailed
information about SFSP sites, sponsors, child participants, and eligible non-participants.
It will determine the cost of collecting and analyzing the above data at various
levels of precision.
The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) was established to provide nutritionally
balanced meals to children of low-income households when school is not is session.
However, there have been ongoing concerns regarding the integrity of the program
and the extent to which the goal of hunger prevention is being met. Current
legislation governing the SFSP is authorized through FY2003, after which reauthorization
will be considered. This study must design an evaluation that, if undertaken,
could be completed prior to the reauthorization hearings. Several characteristics
of the program complicate an evaluation. For instance, data collection times
are limited by the fact that the program is only in operation during the summer
months, and sponsor approval often does not occur until mid-May of the current
year. Also, child attendance is not closely tracked, and little if any information
about participants is collected at SFSP sites. This study must determine ways
to address these and other issues that will be encountered during a full-scale
evaluation. A fixed-price contract was awarded to Mathematica Policy Research,
Inc., at a cost of $412,246 in fiscal 1999. The project was completed October,
Briefel, R., A. Gordon, F. Saleem-Ismail, L. Kalb, M. Kovac, and M. Sinclair. Summer Feeding Design Study: Final Report, E-FAN-01-004, USDA, ERS, October 2000.