Summer Meals Toolkit

Marketing Your Program

No Kid Hungry
Findings have shown that the awareness of free summer meals is low, but the interest is high. Making sure the message and information about your summer meals feeding programs is available and reaching the community is important. Below are some toolkits and webinars that are available online that include information and materials to help spread the word about summer meals.
Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation Summer Meals Outreach Toolkit
Developing your Summer Meals Marketing Plan

Nebraska Department of Education
SFSP Outreach Materials Order form

Enrichment Programming

PE Central is a one-stop place for lesson plans around movement and activities.
PE Central website

Action for Healthy Kids allows you to register with their website to access “Game On.” There you can have access to indoor recess ideas, brain breaks, reading nutrition label materials, nutrition education, and much more! Make sure to activate your account before logging in for the first time.
Action for Healthy Kids toolkit

Get Fit and Flourish, an Illinois-based enhanced physical activity manual is a great resource for physical activity stations and games.
Get Fit and Flourish manual

United Way of Greater Topeka offers a reading curriculum highlighting books such as Cordouroy, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, and The Cat in the Hat, along with activities, styles of reading, and engagement tips. Additional statistics highlight why you should choose to implement reading into your summer meals program.

Creative Lesson Plans around Arts and crafts, all categorized differently.
Crayola resources
Kinderart resources resources resources

Big Garden is allowing sites to have access to their full Big Garden Children and Youth Garden Curriculum. To gain access, email for the password and say you are requesting it for use at a summer meals site.
Big Garden resources

The Farmer’s Almanac and Urban Farmer offer a grow calendar for edible gardening. Offer to teach kids about the fruits, veggies, and herbs that grow great in the summer months.
Farmers’s Almanac resources
Urban Farmers resources

Redwood Empire Food Bank delivers healthy meals at over 40 community-based sites every summer. Enrichment activities are provided at select sites for children who may not otherwise have access to summer enrichment. REFB has shared their “Summer Explorers” 5-week curriculum full of fun and easy-to-implement activities.
*Please check with sites/sponsors to see if materials can be provided.
Redwood Empire Food Bank resources
Redwood Empire Foodbank Toolkit

North Coast Food Web provides directions on how to make your own mobile garden in a shopping cart.
North Coast Food Web resources

Furthering Education (Webinar and Conference Call Recordings)

Food Research and Action Center
Guest speakers from across the nation discuss different topics targeted towards enhancing your summer meals program.
FRAC recording

Nebraska Department of Education
SFSP Webinar Series available:
NDE webinar

Nebraska Summer Food Service Program 2016 Summit Audio Recordings
SFSP Sponsor Panel facilitated by: Tiffany Jones, Partnership Coordinator of Hunger Free Heartland. Recording
(Panelist Participants include: Sheila Sanford, Food Service Director for Minden Public Schools; Kris Spellman, Nutrition Services Director at Grand Island Public Schools; Toby Schneckloth, Statewide Youth and Children’s Director for Assemblies of God Churches in Nebraska; Brenda Buchholz, Summer Meals Service Provider at Overton Public Schools; Don Winkler, SFSP lead for the Salvation Army in the Omaha area.)

Enrichment Programming by Michelle Sause, Assistant Director of Network Relations for the Food Bank for the Heartland. Recording

Social Media by Heather Callihand, Technology Integration Specialist for Northwest Public Schools in Grand Island. Recording | Powerpoint Presentation

Staff Training and Compliance by Mike Heyl, Public Health Educator for the Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department. Recording | Handout

Additional Resources

Funding Opportunities
NDE Grant opportunities – award up to $15,000 a year for start-up sites or for expansion.

Websites to Assist with Programming

(USDA) United States Department of Agriculture
Summer Food Service Program
Capacity Building
Summer Meals Toolkit
Farm to Summer Factsheet

(FRAC) Food Research and Action Center
Summer Nutrition Progam

Share Our Strength
Free Summer Meals for Kids

(NDE) Nebraska Department of Education
Summer Food Service Programs

Center for Rural Affairs
Community Food
Farm to Summer Resources

Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition
Local Food Systems
Seasonality of Foods in Nebraska

Midwest Dairy Council

UNL Extension Offices
Nebraska Extension Resources