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Learn Why Nutrition Hubs are a Business Savvy Strategy
Logo of a Nutrition Hubs school

School nutrition professionals are dedicated to feeding children. Many also run multi-million dollar school nutrition operations. Across the country, many school nutrition programs are successfully doing both, while navigating tight budgets and rigorous regulations. Their key to combating child hunger and operating a financially solvent business is to become a nutrition hub.

Schools operating as Nutrition Hubs help children access the nutrition they need throughout the year by operating all available federal child nutrition programs—school breakfast, lunch, afterschool and summer meals. This strategy also provides school nutrition departments with a financial management solution: increasing revenue, optimizing staff time and maximizing operational efficiencies.

Our Schools as Nutrition Hubs: The Business Savvy Strategy to Reduce Childhood Hunger Brief and Schools as Nutrition Hubs: The Business Savvy Strategy to Reduce Childhood Hunger Report, developed in partnership with the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF), highlight the benefits and strategies of operating School Nutrition Hubs from successful school nutrition professionals. Watch this Make Your School a Nutrition Hub video to hear testimonials directly from school nutrition directors who have successfully implemented Nutrition Hubs models.

SNF and No Kid Hungry have also developed a series of resources to help school nutrition directors evaluate and act on opportunities to expand federal nutrition programs within their districts. These tools are meant to be utilized during a School Nutrition Hubs training session. However, other school nutrition directors may find them useful for improving and expanding their programs.

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Reduce the Red Tape of Serving School Meals with the Community Eligibility Provision
Reduce the Red Tape of Serving School Meals with the Community Eligibility Provision

The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) makes it easier for high need schools to serve free meals - both breakfast and lunch - to all students by removing the need for schools to collect paper applications. CEP benefits students and schools. It helps schools reduce administrative costs related to collecting and processing applications, tracking students based on meal eligibility status and addressing unpaid meals. It also helps students because families no longer have to complete meal applications and it can reduce stigma because all students are eating meals at no cost, regardless of their income status. CEP can help facilitate schools efforts to become effective nutrition hubs for students.

Use the searchable Community Eligibility Database to determine which schools are available in your state and district.  The USDA resource Perceived Barriers to CEP Implementation and Webinar: Making “Cents” of CEP at a 40-50% ISP can help you address challenges and successfully adopt CEP at your school or district. 

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Ensure Kids Get a Meal After the School Day Ends
students lined up at the school cafeteria to get their afterschool meal

In a national survey, 25 percent of low-income parents worried that their kids did not get enough to eat between lunch at school and breakfast the next day. The Child and Adult Care Food Program’s At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program can ensure your students get the nourishment they need after school, while improving your bottom line.

Our Three Meals a Day guide provides information, tips and ideas based on interviews conducted with ten school nutrition directors from across the country. This Supper Makes Cents flyer presents an overview of the afterschool meals program, its benefits and the financial benefits. Both resources can help you think through implementing an afterschool meals program at your school.

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Serve Summer Meals at Your School or in the Community
girl wearing sunglasses holds a hamburger in her hand as she socializes with friends at a summer meals site

Summer is a critical time for children’s academic and physical well-being. During the summer, children are at a higher risk of both obesity and hunger. Summer meals programs, which include the Summer Food Service Program and the National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option, provide free summer meals and are an important source of nutritious food for children age 18 and under during this time.

Schools are an ideal place to host summer meals sites, and districts make strong sponsors. Families trust programs held at schools and schools have the infrastructure and expertise in food service management to operate successful programs. The Summer Meals Sponsor Planning Guide and Summer Meals Calculator will help you develop a plan for implementing a summer meals program.

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