On October 1, 1998, the New York State Education Department assumed responsibility for all schools and government entities in New York State participating in the SFSP. On October 1, 2002, the Education Department began administering the SFSP for sponsors that are private, nonprofit organizations and residential camps. The Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act of 2004 reauthorized funding for SFSP through fiscal year 2009. This was extended through 2010 and is currently available through December 5, 2010.
The SFSP provides nutritious meals for low-income children in the summer when school is not in session. The SFSP in New York State is the largest in the Country.
The 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, commonly called the Welfare Reform Act, reduced federal subsidies that sponsors receive for meals served and eliminated the federal subsidy for a fourth daily meal provided in summer camps and programs that primarily service migrant children. Since 1997, the New York State Legislature has appropriated $3.3 million for SFSP sponsors every year to help offset the federal cuts in reimbursement. In 2008, the amount was reduced to 3,234,000. It was also reduced 1.1 percent for claims after September 16, 2010.
There is a growing concern that despite outreach initiatives, on average, only one in six children eligible for free and reduced priced meals during the school year participates in SFSP.
The State Education Department focuses its attention on increasing the number of sponsors and sites in both urban and rural areas to encourage increased participation by needy children throughout the State. The State Education Department also focuses on increasing the number of service days by existing sponsors. A variety of outreach initiatives including subway posters and public service announcements in English and Spanish are implemented. A variety of strategies are used to target low-income families to make them aware of the nutrition benefits available for their children so they return to school in September well-nourished and ready to learn.
Federal Statute: National School Lunch Act
Federal Regulation: 7 CFR 225