July/August 2016 Fresh Focus

Welcome to the HOT August edition of Fresh Focus. During these scorching summer days we're asking folks to checkout our new SummerEats app to help find Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sites while reading about one of our SFSP sponsors and our Summer Food Rocks Tour with elected officials. 

Action of the Month: Download the SummerEats App!

We are excited about the launch of our SummerEats app that will make it even easier for children to find a meal this summer. SummerEats is available through both the Google Play Store for Androidand Apple App Store for iPhones. If those links don't work simply search "SummerEats" (all one word) in the store.

If you have location services turned on, as soon as you open the app you can find meal sites with 2 blocks, 1/2 mile, 1 mile, 2 miles, 5 miles or 10 miles from your current location! You can also type in an address to find meal sites near there. Need directions? Just hit the blue Directions button to open your favorite map app and get directions!

Go Big or Go Home! Hockomock Summer Food Service Program

Before the town was awake on a beautiful Saturday morning, volunteers gathered at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Milford to spread the word about the new summer meals program one door at a time. The Hockomock Area YMCA and the Milford Area Humanitarian Coalition set their goals high when they decided to bring the National Summer Food Service Program to Milford.  “Go big or go home,” said Kimberly Cohen, Senior Director of Health Innovation of the Hockomock Area YMCA. Partnering with local churches, schools, and various other community groups, they planned four sites in their first summer as a sponsor, building on the great progress of a pilot model run by the Milford Area Humanitarian Coalition last summer.

A grant from Project Bread and the Child Nutrition Outreach Program assisted with the financial resources for marketing and outreach activities through community collaboration, school, student, and parent outreach, and neighborhood canvassing. This year, 14 sponsors were awarded grants for materials including yard signs, banners, billboards, and flyers. The focused door-to-door outreach is highly impactful to reach families who still have not heard about the program.  

SFSP participants pose in front of sign that says "free lunch daily for all children"

Summer Food Rocks Tour at SFSP Sites Across the State

The third annual "Summer Food Rocks Tour" featured Congressman McGovern's  tour through Central & Western MA on Monday and a snack visit to Piers Park in East Boston later that week with Congressman Capuano’s office and many others. In addition to these two visits, Congressman Kennedy and the Attleboro Area Council of Churches invited us to a site visit in Attleboro. Numerous USDA officials, including Kevin Concannon, USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services; state officials and valued partners joined us throughout the tour. From visiting breakfast, lunch, and snack sites, to playing pick-up soccer and watching kids learn how to sail—it was a wonderful tour! Keep your eyes open for a complete wrap up towards the end of the summer and in the meantime, enjoy photos from the day here!

SFSP participants pose with Congressman McGovern
An SFSP participant poses with Congressman Kennedy

Webinars and Grants

Our partner, The Food Reach & Action Center (better known as FRAC), has several exciting webinars coming up ranging from methods to evaluate summer nutrition programs to topics getting you ready for the school year. Feel free to connect with us with questions or thoughts you have after participating! 

Speaking of the upcoming school year, here are some excellent websites to watch for news, ideas and potential grants to ensure you are fully prepared for the wave of hungry students looking for breakfast and lunch this fall.