Research commissioned by No Kid Hungry found that 80 percent of children are at home during the summer months, and an equal number of parents are interested in mobile meals programs. What's more, one in three low-income parents expressed confidence that a mobile meals truck would make their child more likely to participate in the summer meals program. The USDA first provided guidance on operating 'mobile feeding sites' in February 1999. Since the initial memorandum, sponsors have implemented mobile programs in rural, urban, and suburban communities. Mobile meals programs can satisfy the congregate meal requirement while taking meal service into areas that would not otherwise have sites.
Step 1: Are Mobile Meals Right for Your Community?
Mobile meals programs provide a great opportunity to serve more meals to kids in hard-to-reach places – but they also require a lot of planning and coordination, and, in many cases, resources beyond those provided through USDA reimbursements.
- Summer Meals Calculator: This budgeting tool was developed to help you plan your summer program and includes specific guidance on budgeting for mobile meals.
Step 2: Plan Your Program
As you are completing your application materials to participate in either the Summer Food Service Program or the Seamless Summer Option, you will need to make many choices about how and where you will deliver your program. This section of the toolkit will help you think through where you will serve meals, what additional resources and partners will help your program, and how you will prepare the food to serve.
- Planning & Delivery Checklist: Make sure all your bases are covered as planning and implementation move forward.