Summer Meals Community Outreach

Engage community organizations, businesses and others to distribute flyers with information about local sites, including locations, meals served, when meals are served and contact information for each site.

Flyers can be distributed at:

  • Libraries
  • Child care centers
  • Boys and Girls clubs
  • Food pantries
  • Housing authorities
  • Supermarkets (Ask that they be placed on customer windshields).
  • Family Success Centers
  • Doctors’ offices, community health centers, hospitals
  • Parks and recreation centers
  • City pools
  • Government services offices (ESL, adult literacy, vocational training, WIC, Medicaid, Social Services offices)
  • Car windshields in parking lots
  • Churches and other faith-based organizations
  • Bus stops/public transit
  • Popular fast-food chains
  • Shelters
  • Community centers

Also engage your community partners to help spread the word through their networks, including local business associations, such as the Rotary Club, and community organizations, such as Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA, United Way and other organizations that serve children and families.

Sample Messages

E-mail to Partner Organizations

As you may know, many students in our community rely on school meals to get the nutrition they need to grow, be healthy and succeed in school. For these children, when school’s out, hunger sets in.

The federal summer meals program provides a solution to summertime hunger for kids. In (Community Name) XX sites will be serving nutritious meals this summer.

Please help us spread the word to (Community Name) parents about these programs, by:

  1. Distributing the attached flyers in locations where children and families congregate.
  2. Sending e-mail alerts to your networks.
  3. Posting on social media. See sample posts.

In general, summer meals programs, funded through federal dollars, are free and require no identification or income verification from parents. Unfortunately, many parents simply do not know they exist. In fact, in 2016, just 21 percent of low-income children received these meals.

Not only do these programs provide nutritious meals, they also give kids a chance to engage in fun, healthy activities during the summer months. In fact, a growing number of libraries are host summer meals sites.

To learn more about summer meals and outreach strategies, visit njsummermeals.org. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Faith-based Bulletin Insert

FREE FOOD, FRIENDS AND FUN SERVED UP ALL SUMMER LONG – SPREAD THE WORD!

Thousands of children in (Community Name) face hunger every day and rely on school meals to get the nutrition they need to grow, be healthy and succeed in school. For these children, when school’s out, hunger sets in.

Free summer meals are available to kids and teens across [Community Name]. Free summer meals help families stretch already-tight summer food budgets. Many summer meals sites offer fun learning and recreational activities so kids and teens can eat a healthy meal while staying active and being with friends.

Meals are free to children and teens ages 18 and younger and follow federal nutrition guidelines. Parents don’t need to apply to the program or show proof of income to get a free summer meal for their kids. They can simply bring their child to a summer meals site in their community.

Summer should be a stress-free time, full of food, friends and fun. Free summer meals can help. Help us spread the word. If you or someone you know is interested, contact (sponsor name/email/phone or insert link to web page with site information).

Host a Kick-Off Event

Hosting a kick-off event to promote summer meals is a great way to engage sponsors, partners, families, and the community! Planning additional events throughout the summer energizes participants and reminds families that summer meals are still available.

The best time to hold kick-off events is in the beginning of June during National Summer Kick-Off Week, right after the academic school year ends and/or the day of or a few days prior to the opening of your summer meals program.

Successful kick-off events involve a variety of community members and organizations. Be sure to invite the mayor, school superintendent, other local officials, community and faith-based organizations and local business leaders. Providing food and fun activities for children and parents is another important component. You might also consider having drawings or give-a-ways of donated items like tickets to local events, t-shirts, sunglasses, stickers and other items.

Learn more about planning a kick-off event.

Hold a Blitz Day

During a Blitz Day, volunteers come together to canvass a community with outreach materials about the available free summer meals. Blitz Day outreach locations can include schools, child care centers, businesses, community centers, faith-based organizations, parks, libraries, health centers, Family Success Centers and other locations where children and parents congregate.

At a typical Blitz Day…

  • Volunteers and community leaders meet at a designated time and location.
  • A community leader or host says a few words.
  • Sponsor provides a brief overview of summer meals programs, frequently asked questions and assigns canvassing areas.
  • Volunteers head out in partners or small teams to their respective zones and begin the Blitz.
  • Volunteers meet back at a designated time. (Typically 2-4 hours later)
  • Volunteers give updates/feedback.
  • Host/s provide food/beverages as a thank you.

Learn more about holding a blitz day.