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Food/Nutrition Services and Transportation

FNS photo
Each summer, when school is not in session, millions of children from low-income families receive nutritious meals through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), administered under the Food & Nutrition Service of the USDA. For the summer of 2015, more than 200 million free meals will be served to children 18 years and under. NCMM is available to provide technical assistance to SFSP grantees to ensure children have access to these summer meal sites. A lack of transportation can be a barrier for those children whose families do not have a private means of transportation and don't know what other transportation services are available to them.

The following news and NCMM resources are available to SFSP grantees to help improve access to summer meal programs:

  • Magic Food Bus opens for students facing food insecurity (9/23/16). The MxCC Magic Food Bus seeks to alleviate the challenges of food insecurity, defined as the lack of nutritious food, faced by college students and their families. The food pantry will provide nonperishable food items, toiletries and other items.
  • New! Transportation Strategies to Connect Youth with Summer Food Programs (National Center for Mobility Management, 2016). Explores potential collaboration strategies mobility managers, transportation providers, and summer meal sites can pursue to reduce the number of children who go hungry each summer. Concludes with suggested strategies that mobility management professionals can use to support access to summer food programs programs within their communities.
  • Rides to Meals, Part 2: Strategies to Connect Youth with Summer Food Service Programs (April 4, 2016 webinar). Each summer, millions of eligible children are unable to access the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services’ summer meal sites, often because of transportation challenges. In communities across the United States, summer meal programs and transportation professionals are putting their heads together to solve these challenges. This webinar featured two of these communities as well as a short review of other strategies featured in an upcoming NCMM Mobility Management In Practice brief on this topic. View the recorded webinar and Food and Nutrition Service slides and other presenters’ slides.

Speakers
Tommy Brown, Transportation Director, City of Huntsville, Alabama
Mike Barnhart, COO, Horizons, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Tony Craddock, Jr., MPH, Program Analyst, Food and Nutrition Service, USDA
Rik Opstelten, Rural and Targeted Programs, Federal Transit Administration
Moderator: Amy Conrick, Co-Director, National Center for Mobility Management

  • Rides to Meals, Part 1: Strategies & Resources to Support Connections between Summer Food Service Programs and Transportation (June 25, 2015 webinar). This webinar explored ways in which public transit programs can partner with FNS-funded summer food programs to ensure youth have access to nutrition over the summer months. This webinar showcased two examples from Texas. View the webinar slides.

Speakers
Kari Banta, Texas Department of Transportation, Austin, Texas
Brian Baker, SPARTAN Public Transit, Levelland, Texas
Tony Craddock, Jr., MPH, Program Analyst, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA
Rik Opstelten, Rural and Targeted Programs, Federal Transit Administration
Moderator: Judy Shanley, Co-Director, National Center for Mobility Management

Looking for additional information or in-depth assistance?

  • Contact your NCMM regional liaison to learn about transportation resources in local communities and opportunities to be part of grants to support transportation services.