How Care Coordination Lowers Child Hunger During the Summer

children eating lunch

Although the federal government offers summer lunch programs for school-aged children, many families do not have the means to take advantage of this offeriong; many families experiencing food insecurity lack adequate transportation, since school buses don’t typically run during the summer, so many children cannot get to the schools or facilities where these summer programs are based. 

That’s why community care coordination during the summer is more important than ever, when it comes to food-insecure households with children.

Help Collection Center, Free Food Distribution. Volunteering, food donation box grocery set for in-need people.

Summer Food Insecurity for Children: Facts and Figures

One study by the USDA in 2010 found that food-insecure children were likely to rely on school meals more than other children, and losing this benefit over the summer can be very challenging when there is no adequate replacement.

While food insecurity has decreased overall since the economic recession of 2008–11 (see chart below), the pandemic dealt a blow to children’s food security, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA):

Children were food insecure at times during 2022 in 8.8 percent of U.S. households with children (3.3 million households), up from both 6.2 percent (2.3 million households) in 2021 and 7.6 percent (2.9 million households) in 2020. These households with food insecurity among children were unable at times to provide adequate, nutritious food for their children.

Source: USDA.

Although SNAP and other federal benefits are available to many food-insecure households, these benefits are not always adequate: one team of researchers argues that the low funding per household incentivizes families to buy nutrient-poor, cheaper foods that can exacerbate hypertension, diabetes risk, and other chronic disease contributors, because many of these households do not have the time or means to cook meals from scratch with whole ingredients every day.

That’s why, despite the solutions offered by the federal government, many food and nutrition services are stepping up to alleviate hunger with medically-tailored meals.

Care Coordination for Food and Nutrition Services

One partner of Eccovia, Project Angel Heart, delivers prepared meals to its clients by using ClientTrack, Eccovia’s care coordination platform. The platform allows communities to perform:

  • Application and referral management
    • Utilizing the coordinated entry approach, any community can standardize its intake and referrals and share client data securely.
  • Health and nutrition assessment
    • Standardizing intake and the assessment of participants’ needs is essential for communities to make a uniform approach to service delivery.
  • Meal plans and delivery optimization
    • To mitigate waste and improve efficiency, any community needs to use a data-driven platform that can make meal plan deliveries an automated process when possible.
  • Case management
    • Case notes, communication with clients, and stakeholder updates are essential for any platform that purports to enhance community care coordination.
  • Reporting and analytics
    • Funders and community leaders need to know how effectively the clients are being helped and whether the efforts are making a difference. Without intuitive, out-of-the-box analytics tools, such stakeholder buy-in would be extremely difficult to attain.

So if your community is stepping up to fill the gaps that summer break causes, we encourage you to schedule a demo with an Eccovia expert to find out the scope of your needs, the possibilities of care coordination, and the ways ClientTrack can help your community mitigate child summer hunger.

More Topics

While many children in low-income households benefit from school breakfast and lunch programs, many of them lose that benefit over the summer break. However, community care coordination among organizations that …

The relationship between law enforcement and people experiencing behavioral crises or homelessness can be tense, sometimes escalating to the use of force and leaving root causes unaddressed. However, communities across …

Case management for refugee services is an essential part of making sure these vulnerable populations can integrate into American society culturally, economically, and legally. Without effective case management, services are …

Contact Us


Subscribe to our monthly newsletter for health and human service organizations. You'll learn from our experts and partners on best practices, industry news, and never-before-seen resources!