School’s Out! Time for Summer Meals
June 16, 2016

Thoughts of “summer” likely does not make you think of Alaska, but the Summer Food Service Program operates there and the rest of the country, feeding millions of hungry children once school’s out. This news story below from NBC affiliate KTUU in Anchorage is one example of how our shelf-stable Meal Breaks will be used in the SFSP, by the Food Bank of Alaska, and other organizations to feed about 40,000 hungry children this summer.

Karla Jutzi, Director of Development for the Food Bank of Alaska, explains in the news segment why they use Meal Breaks: “We buy shelf-stable meals, because we’re shipping to rural Alaska,” Jutzi said, “so the food’s got to last. But we get these great meals that actually have food that kids enjoy, and that are nutritionally balanced.”

This week the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) released its annual Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation report (pdf) which found that during July 2015, the Summer Nutrition Programs served nearly 3.2 million low-income children across the country. However, after three years of significant growth, national participation plateaued last summer. In its news release, FRAC emphasized the need for Summer Nutrition Programs to close the hunger gap for millions of children.

Keep Summer Simple

If your district is participating in the SFSP, our advice is to keep summer simple by using pre-packaged meals. 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 can help develop a cycle menu to submit to the state, to allow you to focus on site selection, and training. E S Foods has a lot of experience with summer meals and would be happy to help you with yours.