Food Assistance:

Information on the Private Sponsors in the 1990 Summer Food Service Program

RCED-91-224BR: Published: Sep 24, 1991. Publicly Released: Sep 24, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO compared demographic and compliance pattern data the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) obtained from its reviews of private nonprofit sponsors that participated in the 1990 Summer Food Service Program with GAO data on a sample of 10 private sponsors included in a previous report.

GAO found that: (1) of the 190 private sponsors that participated in the 1990 Summer Food Service Program 182 sponsors operated in 33 states; (2) although FNS rules prohibited private sponsors from purchasing meals from commercial food service companies, 13.7 percent of the private sponsors contracted with vendors and 86.3 percent prepared their own meals; (3) 49 sponsors had participated in the fiscal year 1989 demonstration project, but most of the private sponsors were new to the program; (4) FNS cited 152 of the 182 private sponsors for some type of compliance error, primarily inadequate records and meal count errors; (5) FNS disallowed 62,100 of the meals claimed by 40 percent of the 182 private sponsors mainly because the sponsors were missing meal components or did not meet portion requirements; (6) the frequency of meal disallowances was lower for private sponsors that purchased their meals than for those that prepared their own meals; (7) comparing the GAO and FNS data on the other 172 private sponsors showed that the GAO data was similar to FNS data, but differed in the frequency and number of meals disallowed; and (8) the percentage of private sponsors with meal disallowances and the average number of meals disallowed per sponsor was higher in the GAO sample than in FNS data.

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