March/April 2015 Fresh Focus

Find Some Money to Support Your SFSP

Could your summer program use a cash infusion this year? The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Project Bread have funds available.

ESE: ESE offers two SFSP-related grants. The first of these (fund code 549) is for first-year sponsors or returning sponsors who want to open a new site in an underserved area. The main goals of the grant are to improve average daily participation in SFSP and provide nutritious meals to children in need.

The second ESE grant (fund code 542) is for expansion of already-existing SFSP programs. The goal of the grant is to help sponsors increase average daily participation (ADP) in their programs, specifically by enabling them to improve outreach efforts, offer training to site supervisors, and purchase needed equipment.

The application deadline for ESE grants is March 6, 2015.

Project Bread: Project Bread offers two grants (download the applications), one for sponsors and one for sites. Both sponsors and sites can apply in the categories of opening a new site, offering a nutrition education or recreation program, or executing a teen outreach plan. Sponsors can also apply for improving meal quality with healthier or locally-grown foods. Lastly, Project Bread is offering a NEW funding category for sponsors this year: implementing a mobile meals initiative.

Sponsors can apply for up to $5,000 and sites for up to $2,000. The grant deadline for Project Bread grants is April 10, 2015.

Other Grants: Check out CNOP’s “Find Grants” page.

School Breakfast Week 2015

Don’t look now, but it’s already National School Breakfast Week! If this information is catching you by surprise, it’s time to get in gear before the eggs get cold. SNA has some activities and resources you can use, as well as a sample menu containing recipes to spice things up for the special occasion.

On the other hand, if you've been planning for months, we want to hear how you’re celebrating. Please share your stories with us on our facebooktwitter and Instagram pages. 2015 stands to be a big year for school breakfast in Massachusetts with the recently announced extension of the Mass. School Breakfast Challenge as well as the Commissioner Chester's policy guidance on BIC. We have more reason than ever to celebrate school breakfast’s big week.

School Breakfast Video Contest Launch!

The 5th Annual School Breakfast Video Contest: Eat. Film. Screen will be opening its doors to contest participants starting this Monday, March 2nd as a way to kick off National School Breakfast week.

CNOP is now accepting submissions for the contest here, and submissions will continue to be accepted through Friday, April 3rd.

A panel of judges from CNOP and MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will judge the videos. The 1st place winner will receive an American Express gift card for $1,000 and a feature on the WHDH-TV show, “Urban Update.” Second and third place will also receive gift cards of $300 and $200, respectively. Be sure to check out the rules before you submit.

Let CNOP know if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing everyone’s work!

the community in order to build support for child nutrition initiatives.

Kicking-off summer 2015 with CNOP

With all of the snow that Massachusetts has seen this winter, it is not hard to get excited about summer 2015! The recent Massachusetts SFSP Kickoff in Sturbridge was widely attended by new and existing SFSP sponsors and partners throughout Massachusetts. Here are some highlights:

• Chef Ann Cooper was this year’s keynote speaker, discussing her school cafeteria scratch cooking toolkit known as The Lunch Box. Chef Ann also discussed maintaining a high profile in the

• Jean McMurray, the executive director of the Worcester County Food Bank, spoke of their crucial involvement in the summer food service program and the importance that outside organizations can play. The WCFB has donated trucks to SFSP sponsors to help expand mobile meals initiatives.

• The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education also discussed the need for Summer Food Service Programs in the state, strategies for improvement, and available resources to help begin and expand summer programs.

Summer Kickoff Events and SFSP Resources

 Massachusetts SFSP participation rates have increased over the past few years and we are hoping to see them rise even higher this year. One of the most effective ways to promote your community's SFSP is to host a Kickoff event for your program. In the past, kickoff events offered entertainment including magicians, music, and games as well as a special meal. Here are some organizations that can help provide programming for your SFSP's kickoff this summer:

  • Foodplay Productions: Foodplay’s high-caliber acting and educational skills are available to summer food programs. Check out their website, which has information on different types of shows as well as tools and materials for order. Also contact them about scheduling and fees.
  • UMass Extension Nutrition Program: Looking for nutrition education resources? UMass extension is available to provide nutrition education to your summer meal sites as well as recipe taste tests that use healthy, local ingredients.
  • Vegetable Circus: Vegetable Circus uses circus arts to teach children and adults creative and exciting ways to live healthy. Visit their website.

Let CNOP know if you would like assistance in holding an SFSP Kickoff event in your community, or if you would like more information on how to hold a successful kickoff.

Grassroots Community Outreach

For the second consecutive year, CNOP has recruited a team of interns to help us dive into Massachusetts communities and promote the School Breakfast and Summer Food Service Programs more thoroughly on the ground. Throughout the spring, they’ll focus on the School Breakfast Video Contest.

If you’d like an intern to make a video contest presentation in your school or community, please let CNOP know at In addition, the interns will be blogging about their exploits and what they learn.

Every Day Starts With School Breakfast

CNOP recently created a new outreach video to support School Breakfast. The video was produced in partnership with JJ Miller studios (who has also produced videos for Reebok and Evoshield among others) and stars a number of children from the Medford Public School system. It follows the daily lives of several children, showing how school breakfast helps energize them for their busy lives. CNOP will premier the video at a special event at Medford High School on March 6th.

If you’d like to request a DVD copy of the video to show at your school or give to a local access cable station, please contact We can't show it to you before it premiers, but by the end of the week it will be up on our breakfast page.