With summer rapidly approaching, many organizations are working hard to ensure children have access to the meals they need while schools are out of session. Summer meal programs are available in a variety of places across communities, including libraries, recreation centers, and other community gathering places. Anyone can be a champion for summer meals to raise community awareness of programs currently offered and to support the development of new summer meal sites.
To equip summer meals champions with information and resources, a group of participants in the Healthy Food Community of Practice created this list of resources from national organizations, state advocates, and USDA on summer meals. Resources include guidance on a range of topics including ways to access meals, how to become a summer meals site or sponsor, examples from other programs, and more.
This list is a living document. If you have resources to add to this list, please submit them via this form.
Research/Reports Research from the field demonstrates the need for and value of summer meal programs.
Mapping Tools These mapping tools can help communities assess where additional summer meal services may be needed and where open meal sites can be operated.
How to become a site or sponsor Interested in establishing a summer meal site in the future? These resources can help.
Program planning and operations These resources can help summer meal sponsors and sites with planning and implementation.
No Kid Hungry’s Proactive Planning for Summer Meals Sponsors
USDA’s Summer Meals Toolkit
No Kid Hungry’s Summer Food Service Program Overview
No Kid Hungry’s Summer Meals Fact Sheet
No Kid Hungry’s Navigating Area Eligibility In Summer And Afterschool Meals
No Kid Hugnry’s Feeding A Crowd - Tips For Congregate Meal Service
FRAC Facts: Summer Basics
How to get meals These resources offer guidance on getting meals to serve at sites.
Meal Quality These resources offer guidance on incorporating healthy foods into summer meals.
Dedicated and effective staff are key to maintaining a summer meals program. This section includes resources about hiring, training and retaining staff.
No Kid Hungry’s Hiring & Retaining Staff: Your Most Precious Commodity (webinar recording)
No Kid Hungry’s Tips For Staffing Summer Meals Programs
Example Programs Organizations share lessons learned from established summer meal programs.
No Kid Hungry’s Grab & Go Success Stories - Lowcountry Food Bank, South Carolina
No Kid Hungry’s Free Summer Meals At Atrium Health University City: A Case Study
Partnerships Many different types of organizations and entities can get involved in summer meals. The resources in this section highlight some of the different possible partners and their interests.
Outreach Ideas Getting the word out in the local community is critical to the reach and impact of a summer meals program. These resources provide strategies and downloadable materials to help promote your summer meals programs.
No Kid Hungry’s Summer Meals Outreach Toolkit
Questions? Feel free to contact a member of the Summer Meals Pod from the Healthy Food Community of Practice.