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Meal Quality
two kids eating lunch

Meal quality is very important for continued strong participation in your summer meal program. Learn ways to mix up your meals to be more appealing, healthier, and cost effective.

  1. Farm-to-Summer: Incorporating Local Foods Into Your Summer Meals Menus (2020)
    • Summertime is ripe for the fresh fruits and veggies that kids love. How can you liven up your summer menus with local foods without exceeding your budget? This webinar covers all of the logistics of working with local growers, from communication and procurement to meal preparation and service. Learn from a seasoned pro who has been cultivating relationships with local farmers and incorporating local foods onto her menus for years.
  2. Improving Meal Quality in the Summer, One Change at a Time (2017)
    • Improving meal quality is a key strategy for increasing participation in summer meals. We also know that meal quality can be defined in various ways for different people. In this webinar, we hear from sponsors who operate summer meals programs that provide meals that are tasty and appealing to children. Learn about their challenges and barriers, lessons learned and strategies for ensuring meal quality – while controlling costs – to maximize participation in summer meals.
  3. Enhance Your School Meals with the Smart Food Planner (2016)
    • Need help finding healthy food and beverage options that meet students' taste preferences and are also in alignment with your school's budget.



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Increase Access
meal service at a library

Accessibility to summer meal sites can be one of the largest barriers to participation for families. Watch the webinars below to hear about innovative practices that reduce that barrier by delivering meals, increasing sites, and reaching new communities.

  1. Core Summer Meals Strategies to Overcome Transportation Barriers (2019)
    • In this webinar, No Kid Hungry and an expert from the social enterprise sector explore key success factors impacting mobile meals and the effective delivery of summer meals programming. This webinar helps attendees identify the big questions that can help guide a solutions-based approach to transportation barriers. Furthermore, viewers will explore both the effectiveness and sustainability of common transportation solutions as well as alternative delivery options that may be useful at low-volume sites or highly remote areas. 
  2. Innovations to Expand Access to Summer Meals in Hard-to-Reach Communities (2019)
    • Each year schools, nonprofits, and community centers seek new opportunities to provide much-needed summer nutrition to kids through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). While program sponsors work actively to add new sites, the number of summer meals served nationwide continues to decline. The impact of this decline is magnified in rural places, where transportation and the high cost of personal car ownership create additional barriers for program participation. This webinar highlights new, creative approaches that sponsors have taken to expand access to summer meals in these communities that are allowable under current regulation. Whether it is bringing meals directly to where kids like to hang out or changing a menu to align with mainstream models, this webinar leaves you with a new idea to test and the inspiration needed for a successful summer.
  3. Serve Summer Meals at Nontraditional Sites (2018)
    • In this webinar, we explore opportunities to extend meal service to migrant communities. Webinar attendees will first learn basic criteria for serving meals at migrant sites and then hear from providers who have pursued expanded service in this area.
  4. Leverage Mobile Solutions to Increase Access to Summer Meals (2018)
    •  Leaders in mobile service and delivery operations provided insights to help listeners assess the viability of this approach within their community, while also shedding light on factors contributing to their success.


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Enriching Experience
kids having fun

Looking to take your summer meals program to the next level? Learn from programs that have found fun and creative ways to enrich the experience for program participants.

  1. Strategies to Improve the Summer Meals Experience for Kids and Families (2020)
    • The summer meals program is a lifeline for kids in need, but it fails to reach many of the kids who could benefit from program participation. Join No Kid Hungry for a conversation about how to improve the summer meals experience for kids and families through adopting creative strategies and family-centric approaches.
    • Unfortunately, this webinar is recording is unavailable. 
  2. Enriching your Summer Meals Programs (2016)
    • In this webinar, you learn about a new USDA toolkit to help boost programs, how low-cost books from First Book are being used in combination with summer meals, and how a sponsor is using SNAP-Ed funding to create new summer meal sites with nutrition education programming.


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Program Planning
planning meeting

Learn about the basics of the Summer Meals Program and how to best plan with your community to create a collaborative program.

  1. Engaging Community Partners in Summer Meals Planning for the New Year (2020)
    • This webinar highlights effective strategies for community partner engagement as well as practical recommendations for developing and implementing a plan to improve and/or expand your program. Hear from experts who draw from their own experience to highlight keys to success.
  2. School's Out, Food's In: Program Basics and Early Planning for Summer 2019 
    •  In this webinar, we reviewed key guidelines governing the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option (SSO); learn key similarities and differences between the two programs; discover how to determine program area eligibility within their communities; and receive information on meal pattern basics. The webinar also highlights key elements of successful planning, with thought starters to help program sponsors and community organizations lay the groundwork for success in 2019.