Project: Summer Feeding Integrity Study: Design, Cost, and Feasibility Plan
Award Year: 1999
Amount of award, fiscal 1999: $412,246.00
Institution: Mathematica Policy Research
Principal Investigator: Anne Gordon
Status: Completed
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, 2000.

Topic: Child Nutrition, Data Collection and Methodology, Summer Food Service
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.