Another school year is coming to a close and students and staff are excited for that magical time of SUMMER VACATION! While that can mean many different new and fun things to experience, there is one thing that doesn’t change – kids are still hungry. Summer Nutrition Programs are crucial to helping feed hungry children, yet only 1 in 7 kids who ate a free or reduced-price school lunch during the school year are reached by Summer Nutrition Programs.
As you probably know, the Summer Nutrition Programs, which include the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Seamless Summer Option through the National School Lunch Program, provide federal funding to summer programs operating in low-income areas to serve meals and snacks to children 18 and under during the summer months.
We suggest you keep summer simple by using prepackaged meals. Our Breakfast BREAKS and Meal BREAKS are ideal grab & go options. You can convert your Seamless Summer Option (SSO under NSLP) to the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) to lower meal costs, have easier menu compliance and higher reimbursements. By offering a breakfast and lunch programs instead of a lunch and snack, you can generate the highest revenue. We have a tremendous level of experience with USDA reimbursement programs—let us help you succeed in yours.
Summer Meal Tips
The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) fact sheet on the Summer Nutrition Programs, provides the following tips for offering summer meals:
*You can serve a breakfast and a lunch to children giving them the most nutrition possible and drawing in more nutrition funding for your organization. Think about moving your breakfast meals service to later in the morning to accommodate children who might sleep in during the summer months. Lunch can be served later in the afternoon or consider doing an evening supper instead.
*You can operate a mobile meal program— a winning strategy many rural areas use to reach more children in more locations. Consider partnering with your library’s book mobile program to serve meals at the library book mobile stops.
*You can serve summer meals on weekends. The meal programs are not just for the weekdays. Children need meals on the weekends too. Connect with weekend sports leagues and faith-based groups to bring meals to children on the weekends.
*You can get data on how your state ranks in terms of access to summer meals. Check out FRAC’s annual report, Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation.