Summer Food: Helping to End Childhood Hunger in Maryland Maryland Hunger Solutions www.mdhungersolutions.org
Roadmap for Today
• Role of summer food in Maryland
• Best practices
• Outreach strategies
Maryland Hunger Solutions
• Baltimore based anti-hunger organization
• Project of the Food Research and Action Center
• Build awareness of hunger in MD
• Increase participation in the Food Stamp and Child Nutrition Programs.
• Address food access issues.
The Role of Summer Food
There is a Need for Summer Food
• More than 35 million Americans live in households considered to be food insecure.
• More than 12 million of them are children
Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation
Fact: Only 1 in 5 kids who receive free
or reduced price meals during the
school year continue to receive meals
during the summer.
Continuous Access to Healthy Food School Breakfast School Lunch Afterschool Snacks Summer Meals
Snacks and meals attract children to summer programs
Help combat childhood obesity
Provide children with
access to healthy food throughout
• Operate your summer food program
as long as possible during the summer.
• Operate as an “open site”.
• Serve the maximum number of meals.
Goal: Provide children with healthy kid-friendly meals and snacks
If kids don’t like it, they won’t eat it.
• Focus needs to be on nutritional content and appeal
• This is particularly important for low-income children
• Write quality into your vendor specifications and h old your vendor accountable.
• Make sure the food you serve is healthy
• Use local produce when possible.
• Hold taste testings with the kids.
Goal: Help combat the child obesity epidemic in Maryland.
Hunger and Obesity
• Obesity is a national epidemic
• It impacts people in every ethnic group
and every income level.
• The same child can struggle with both hunger and obesity.
Study Finds Kids Gain Weight Over Summer
Kids gain more weight when school's out
Schools do a better job at keeping students trim than parents, study finds
INDIANAPOLIS - The nation’s schools — under fire for unhealthy school
lunches, well-stocked vending machines and phys-ed cuts — may actually do a
better job than parents in keeping children fit and trim.
A study found that 5- and 6-year-olds gained more weight over the
Summer than during the school year, casting doubt on the assumption
that kids are more active during summer vacation.
The findings don’t reveal what’s behind the out-of-school weight gain, but the
researchers speculate it’s because the summer months lack the structure of
the school year with all its activities and daily comings and goings.
• Incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains into the meal patterns.
• Serve skim or low-fat milk.
• Offer physical activities.
• Include nutrition education.
• Cooking classes
• Easy take home recipes
• Field trips
Goal: Sponsors will operate their Summer Food Program in the black.
• Serve both breakfast and lunch.
• Serve meals at times children are most
likely to participate.
• Be a sponsor for additional sites.
• Plan child-friendly menus
• Teach staff about the importance of accurate meal counts
• Access lower cost food and supplies through food banks
• Increase participation
at your site
Get the Word Out
• P.S.A.s (radio and TV)
• Neighborhood canvassing
• Phone banking
• 211 hotline
• Send information home to parents through backpack mail
• At least 2 weeks before school ends
• If possible, list neighborhood specific information
Advertise at the Site
• Post a banner or signs about Summer Food at the site.
• Highlight the entrance that people will use to access the site
• List all relevant information
Hold a Kick-off Event • Provide activities for the kids • Invite: • “ Local celebrities” • Public officials • Members of Congress • Media • Goal= is to increase awareness
Create Welcoming Environment
• Make sites as friendly and inviting as possible
• Welcome kids from the community if it is an open site
• Make sure that all staff at the site know about the meal program
Work with Community Partners
• Religious organizations
• Food banks and pantries
• Utility companies
• Local businesses
Summer Food Standards of Excellence
• Identify and promote quality summer food sites
• Increase the quality of food served and the site environment
• Increase participation
• Give the checklist to site supervisors for a self-evaluation.
• Challenge sites to meet the bronze, silver or gold level.
• Identify and honor quality summer food sites.
• Use it as a brainstorming list for your program.
FRAC Navigation www.frac.org/afterschool The federal child nutrition programs provide critical funding for meals and snacks in afterschool, summer, and before school programs. The federally-subsidized meals and snacks attract children to out-of-school-time programs, where they can be active, engaged and safe while their parents are at work. The food also helps keep hunger at bay so children can fully participate in the activities going on at the program. Providing healthy meals and snacks is particularly important given the rapidly increasing prevalence of childhood obesity in the U.S. Since 1980 the number of young people who are overweight has more than tripled. By providing healthy food, nutrition programs can play a critical role in preventing obesity and improving overall health. FRAC’s Afterschool Resource Center provides a variety of information, best practices, outreach materials, tools and strategies to help afterschool providers and anti-hunger advocates get more healthy snacks and meals to children. Click on the links to the left to learn more about these programs, how you can participate, and ways to ensure that children have access to healthy and nutritious meals. NEW! FRAC's Child Nutrition Blog ! NEW! FRAC has developed a Summer Outreach Toolkit. Visit the toolkit page for tips and materials to help you promote the Summer Food Program.
Afterschool Suppers Summer Funding Reimbursements Model Programs