According to Kathryn Larin, director of education, workforce and income security at the Government Accountability Office, availability of meal sites and peoples' awareness of such sites were a problem in most states. That goes especially for rural areas where low population density, lack of transportation to meal sites and fewer meal sites limit children's participation. Administrative and paperwork burdens can also be challenging for smaller food programs to cope with, she said.
"The summer food service program, administered by the Department of Agriculture, provides free meals to low-income children and teens when school is not in session. The program administered 149 million meals to children in fiscal year 2016, but participation numbers are unclear due to inconsistent reporting methods across state lines, according to a GAO report released in May," Queram reports. "Tuesday’s hearing addressed those reporting challenges, but focused mostly on innovative summer food programs at the state level."