Optimizing Summer and Afterschool Meal Service

Case Studies
Implementation Support
Best for
Nonprofit Sponsors
School Nutrition Staff

Want to improve efficiency, reduce waste, and increase participation in Summer and Afterschool Meals? This will help you do all three.


While there are many successful meal program sponsors and sites, others may be underperforming or unwilling to operate the Summer or Afterschool Meals Programs for a variety of reasons. The perception of meal quality on the part of children or site operators is one possibility. A lack of excitement about available meals can limit participation or lead to food waste, which can be discouraging, messy, and costly. This resource provides tips and resources to optimize the quality and presentation of meals in order to build buy-in among potential sites, increase participation, and minimize food waste.