This post originally appeared on the USDA blog on July 20, 2011.
Summer is in full swing, and it's time for some healthy competition! Around the country, local organizations from churches to community centers are busy serving meals to kids through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), a federally-funded program that provides free, nutritious meals and snacks to help children in low-income areas get the nutrition they need throughout the summer months when school is not in session.
Although thousands of organizations operate this program, each site has different ideas about activities, volunteer recruiting, and outreach in both rural and urban settings to make sure no child goes hungry in the summer.
To help capture and share some of the creative and successful ways sites are managing the program, FNS is sponsoring “Food, Fun and Sun! The Summer Food Service Program Story and Photo Contest” and looking for best practices that fit into four targeted categories. Winning entries will help us spread the word about programs that break down barriers with innovative methods.
Current SFSP Sponsors and Sites are eligible to enter. We're looking for examples of successful programs that fit into a few targeted categories:
- Recruiting and using volunteers to support SFSP
- Serving meals to older children (ages 12-18)
- Programs that serve meals in rural areas
- Programs that are extremely creative
Contest submissions should be in the form of a 200-400 word narrative (your story) accompanied by two photos. Finalists will be posted on the contest website where a public vote will determine Winners and Honorable Mentions. Winners will be honored and recognized in a variety of ways on a national stage.
Food, Fun and Sun! The Summer Food Service Program Story and Photo Contest starts today and submissions will be accepted through August 20, 2011.
For contest rules, details, and to submit your entry,visit our Challenge page.
Good luck, and may the best programs win!
Sara Gold is a Program Analyst with the Food and Nutrition Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.