Key Nutrition Programs
Getting to No Kid Hungry means that every child is receiving the meals they need each day. Achieving this vision rests on the work of a network of state and community-based campaigns, all committed to ensuring that kids have access to key federal nutrition programs:
- School Breakfast Program
- Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)/Seamless Summer Option (SSO)
- Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) – At-Risk Afterschool Meals
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
Campaigns set measurable long- and short-term goals for participation in each of these programs with defined strategies for achieve them. Each campaign collects data from their state agencies to track progress, refine tactics and pivot direction when necessary.
Leading the charge of No Kid Hungry campaigns are lead partner organizations that bring together stakeholders and leverage resources to make programs work more effectively for kids. Based on our experience from launching No Kid Hungry campaigns around the country, we have identified the key traits that distinguish communities as being ready to activate a campaign in their communities.
There are four areas most critical to the success of a No Kid Hungry campaign:
Strong Lead Partner
Lead partners drive the No Kid Hungry campaign in a community. They are responsible for key activities that connect, support, convene and hold cross-sector partners accountable to the goals of No Kid Hungry. Lead partner responsibilities include establishing the vision and strategy for the campaign, tracking and measuring shared goals, convening program partners, advancing policy and identifying funding resources.
Steady Funding Stream
It takes a considerable investment from both public and private interests to incentivize and implement systematic changes that ensure all children have access to the federal nutrition programs. Lead partners in particular must have the capacity to raise funds and responsibly manage this influx in investment, including the ability to hire a strong team quickly.
Active Executive-Level Government Support
Governors, mayor, their spouses and other elected officials have the influence to bring people to the table and encourage agencies to take action in support of ending childhood hunger. Lead partners work with executive-level champions in government to support the campaign.
Solid Agency Support
State agencies are responsible for operating all of the federal nutrition programs, have relationships with program providers and direct connection to the USDA who regulates the program. State agency leaders who set a vision for program expansion and improvement, collaborate with stakeholders to achieve the vision and have strong data systems to track progress have been able to make great strides in feeding more kids.
Not all No Kid Hungry campaigns will start at the highest level of readiness in all four areas, but efforts to grow in each of these areas is crucial to the success of a campaign.
The No Kid Hungry campaign employs a four step planning process that is dynamic and iterative. The process includes:
Setting Goals and Target Geographies
A crucial element of any No Kid Hungry campaign is achievable goals. These long-term, quantitative goals drive the annual work of a campaign. Goals for a No Kid Hungry campaign are aimed at maximizing participation in key federal nutrition programs in schools and qualified areas, and in reaching families in target communities to participate in food skills education programs.
Developing an Effective Plan
An effective No Kid Hungry plan should include a timeline for reaching your goals, measurable milestones and clearly defined tactics for achieving those milestones. This plan helps to focus your work and provides strategic guidance on implementation of best practices for increasing access to federal nutrition and food skills education programs.
Creating a Budget to Support Your Work
No plan is actionable without funding for staff, equipment, materials and grants to carry out your strategies. A detailed annual budget can help you reach your milestones in a timely manner with the right resources. Use the resources below to forecast your long-term fundraising needs, determine the feasibility of fundraising to meet your needs and create an effective annual budget.
Evaluating and Reporting Progress Regularly
It is important to regularly measure program participation and evaluate progress toward set benchmarks and goals. Measuring progress helps to understand the gap that still needs to be filled, identify and address challenges and focus future work to close the gap. Establishing regularly scheduled opportunities, ideally quarterly, to review progress and make any necessary changes to tactics and work plans will help keep you on track to reach your long-term goals. Use these resources to track, measure and evaluate your progress.
Collaboration between local organizations, government agencies and the business community can help frame the breadth and depth of current efforts, align resources around promising strategies, bring together different perspectives, uncover new ideas and opportunities and increase the speed and efficiency at which success is achieved. These resources will show you how to identify and strengthen partnerships to achieve No Kid Hungry.