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Date of Award
Thesis-ISU Access Only
Master of Science (MS)
Department of Family and Consumer Sciences
Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) participation rates often underserve the number of children in the community needing access to food. Each year District 87 in Bloomington, Illinois offers children 18 years old and younger a free lunch at several feeding sites throughout the community as part of the SFSP. During the summer of 2018, a mobile feeding unit was initiated to deliver lunches to three new feeding sites located at low-income housing complexes. The main goals of this study were to determine if the mobile feeding unit effectively served children who otherwise would not attend a feeding site, assess barriers of transportation, and determine future use. District 87 staff and volunteers administered two surveys on separate days at the mobile feeding sites focusing on previous and current participation in the SFSP. A 21.6% increase in meals served was observed compared to the 2017 summer. Over 60% of participants had never attended a SFSP feeding site before. Transportation to a site was the main barrier for 22% of children who had never participated and 38% of children reported that the convenience of the mobile feeding unit was the best part about it. Every child that participated requested that the mobile feeding unit return in future summers. SFSP Mobile feeding units can be a viable and effective way to increase participation and provide children with the nutrition they need.
KEYWORDS: summer food service program, food insecurity, mobile feeding unit, accessibility, child nutrition
Ormsby, Stephanie, "Effectiveness of Summer Mobile Feeding Unit on Increasing Children’s Access to Food" (2019). Theses and Dissertations. 1066.