No Kid Hungry has created a summer meals outreach toolkit to help you get the word out to families. A range of ready-made promotional materials are available to help publicize summer meals in your community. Use these resources to maximize the impact of outreach efforts in schools, faith communities, community organizations and online.
Engage the Media and Elected Officials
- Summer Awareness Building Toolkit: In this toolkit, you’ll find a menu of options for leveraging outreach opportunities around summer meals and No Kid Hungry's summer texting hotline. For ease of use, the toolkit is broken down by audience (reporters/press, social media, elected officials, other community leaders) and includes links to templates, best practices, and other resources for engaging each audience. Within the toolkit, users can access an elected official action sheet, sample summer meals proclamation, and a "how-to" guide for engaging elected officials around summer meals.
- Summer Site Visit Toolkit: As elected officials return home during the summer months, a visit to a local summer meals site will reinforce the importance of these programs and increase buy-in from these leaders to ensure that all children have access to meals in the summertime. Arranging a site visit provides an opportunity for these officials to directly engage with constituents and better understand how your work is building resilience within the community. The No Kid Hungry campaign has prepared a toolkit to help your organization facilitate these events. This toolkit provides planning timelines, template communication and publicity materials, and tips for executing a successful event highlighting the importance of summer meals to elected officials and other local influencers.
Schools can spread the word about summer meals through:
- Direct outreach to parents, such as:
- Direct outreach to students, such as:
Visit the Summer Meals Research section to learn more about the survey results and parents' perspectives on summer meals.
Direct outreach to congregations, such as:
- Flyers or posters in common areas
- Newsletters or bulletin announcements
- Information about summer meals on the website
Engagement with other local faith leaders, such as:
- Sharing information about programs and inviting youth from other congregations to participate
- Coordinating faith summits or gatherings to educate the faith community about summer meals programming
Community-based organizations have a range of options to initiate or expand grassroots outreach efforts:
- Work with the state agency to map existing summer meals sites in the community in order to target areas for outreach or promotion.
- Conduct a neighborhood canvassing event with volunteer organizations or other local partners.
- Put up outreach materials that promote summer meals in locations across the community: parks and recreation centers, libraries, community health centers, public transportation centers, public housing complexes, childcare facilities, houses of worship, grocery/convenience stores, barbershops, hair salons, food pantries, and other government offices delivering social services.
For community groups interested in becoming a summer meals sponsor or site, it is important to learn the basics of the program and engage with the administering state agency to learn how to get started.
The information that you decide to provide will depend on your services and your audience, but options include:
- Stories or statistics demonstrating the need for summer meals, like No Kid Hungry’s 2013 survey results
- Best practices or stories from successful programs
- Details about your organization’s programs that serve summer meals
- Information about other local summer programs that offer meals, particularly those that are drop-in sites open to all children
You can spread the word through:
- A FAQ section on your website
- It may also be helpful to share this information with state agency partners and other community organizations.
- A direct link from your website to social media sites where up-to-date program information is available
- Summer meals-related social media posts shared directly with your network or by local leaders
- Videos, photos, and other digital content shared with your online network
- Facebook ads that include your website, phone number, and information about when and where meals are served
No Kid Hungry's Summer Awareness Building Toolkit provides sample language and images to use on social media to promote summer meals in the community.