Summer Food Service Program Outreach Ideas

The Child Nutrition Outreach Program (CNOP) has a number of resources to help publicize the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) to children and parents in your area. Below are some ideas on how to make your program successful.

Get creative with your programming

  • Invite unique guests such as a magician, traveling zoo, local politician, grandparent, or favorite teacher to spark interest in your program.
  • Feature fun and exciting meals like barbeques or lunches served on frisbees.
  • Ensure that kids stay for both breakfast and lunch by keeping them occupied with activities that encourage physical fitness, nutrition, and learning.


Tools: Invitation for Guest Appearances, Nutrition Education Toolkit, Coloring and Activity Pages, Recreation Toolkit                     

Use resources in your community

  • Reach out to senior citizen programs, volunteer groups, local colleges, or your city's summer job program to connect your sites with staff at no cost.
  • Obtain prizes or program activity materials through donations from local businesses.

Tools: Donation Request Letter Template, Donation Thank You Letter Template                     

Use incentives to retain your participants

  • Kids love free stuff! Raffle off donated prizes to kids who participate in the program. Children who attend frequently should have the greatest chance of winning.
  • CNOP provides a limited amount of incentives to SFSP sponsors for use at open/area sites. Contact your local sponsor for details.



Promote your programs

  • Advertising is crucial for increasing participation at your sites. Begin promoting your program before the school year ends in June and continue throughout August.
  • Collaborate with local organizations, businesses, churches, and city government to plan a SFSP kickoff event, coordinate activities, and/or promote your program. Maximize your advertising dollars by creating joint promotions with these partners.
  • Contact your local paper, cable tv, or radio station for free press coverage of your program.

Tools: ConnectEd Messages, SFSP Tear Off Pads and Doorknockers