Resources

Overview

Resources

Not interested in re-creating the wheel? Neither are we. Information sharing is one way summer meal providers can help one another build and grow successful summer meal programs. The California Summer Meal Coalition collects resources developed by successful summer meal leaders in an effort to support others with examples and tools that can be tailored to fit the needs of your program. Browse our resources and links to help you with summer meal program operations, outreach, nutrition education, and menus.

Don’t see what you need? We are continually updating our resources so check back often or contact us and we’ll see if we can find what you’re looking for.

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CHAMPS Grant Helps Cities Fund After School and Summer Lunch Programs

The Cities Combating Hunger Through After School and Summer Meal Programs (CHAMPS)initiative will work in partnership with local anti-hunger organizations and state municipal leagues in three states – Alabama, California, and Kansas – to ensure low-income youth continue to have access to healthy food when school is out. City agencies in these three target states are eligible to apply for grant funding and technical assistance to enhance their efforts to combat childhood hunger when school is out through USDA summer and after school meal programs.

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For Community Leaders

School/school district and community leaders play a critical role in making sure kids have access to healthy food and enrichment opportunities when school’s out.

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Partnerships & Collaborations

Summer presents a unique opportunity to develop new community partnerships–and initiate relationships that can last throughout the year.

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Lunch @ the Library

The California Summer Meal Coalition (CSMC) and the California Library Association (CLA) work in partnership to connect summer meal providers and local libraries in an effort to simultaneously support summer nutrition and summer learning.

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CA Police Chiefs Association Blog: Food Brings Communities Together

Summer presents a crucial time to support youth in low-income neighborhoods. School’s summer closure can bring additional stress to low-income families and economically disadvantaged youth are less likely to have access to summer learning opportunities, forcing many families to create a patchwork and absorb additional costs of childcare.

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Case Studies

Sometimes the best path to success is by seeing innovative ideas in practice. Browse our case studies for ideas to help improve your summer meal program operations, outreach, nutrition education, and community partnerships.

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Operations

A successful summer meal program begins with thoughtful planning and careful management of records and files. To maintain the integrity of the program, it is critical that summer meal sponsor staff and site management are trained and understand the federal and state regulations related to summer nutrition programs. Be sure to check out Food Research and Action Center’s Planning Guide and Calendar.

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Outreach

 A robust outreach plan is an important element of a successful summer meal program.  As surprisingly as it may sound, families are simultaneously bombarded with information yet often do not receive some of information we’d like them to have. Your outreach plan should incorporate a variety of methods to ensure that information about your summer meal program reaches its intended audience. For summer meal providers with multiple sites, tailoring your outreach may require a little more work up front, but is more likely to bring positive results.

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Nutrition Education

Did you know that children may gain weight two to three times faster during the summer than during the school year? View PDF Summer leaves many children in low-income communities at greater risk for food insecurity and obesity. Helping kids build healthy habits demands a year-round focus.

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California Department of Education Resources

The California Department of Education (CDE) is the state agency responsible for the administration of the USDA’s Summer Nutrition Programs. CDE offers many resources to support school district- and community organization-based summer meal programs.

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