Summer Meals: Kids Come for Activities, Stay for Food


Summer Meals: Kids Come for Activities, Stay for Food

27, June 2018 8:00 AM

Summer break is in full swing across the country, but it's no time to let healthy eating go on vacation. About 2 million of the California children who rely on free and reduced meals at school miss out on USDA’s free Summer Food Service Program, potentially putting their health and academic achievement at risk.

Breakfasts and lunches served at libraries, parks, pools, schools and other locations over the summer provide healthy food including milk for all kids and teens 18 and under, with no paperwork, no questions and no cost.

Communities across California are pooling resources to provide fun activities at summer meal sites. “When it comes to kids and teens, having something to do can be even more appealing than something to eat,” said Alyson Foote, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, project manager for Dairy Council of California (CA). “That’s why we are working with community organizations, nonprofits, schools, libraries and more to provide fun activities and free promotional resources for summer meals to keep healthy eating on the menu for all California children 18 and under this summer.”

A robust compilation of literacy, STEM and nutrition activities, as well as additional promotional resources are available in the Fuel Your Summer toolkit from the Sacramento Summer Meals Collaborative led by United Way California Capital Region. 

For a host of promotional and activity flyers, PSAs in Spanish or from NFL players, and more, visit

Dairy Council of CA's Community Nutrition Advisers are another key asset to community members seeking summer meals activities and resources. Contact your local adviser for more activity and promotion ideas, including this fun MyPlate, MyState milk activity sheet perfect for Farm to Summer Week, July 9-13.

Sara Floor, MA
Project Manager II, Communications and Food Access

Tags: activities Alyson Foote food access food groups food insecurity Healthy eating milk Sara Floor summer meals


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