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Summer Food Service Program

Kick-off Events

Kick-off events are a great way to build awareness among parents, recruit volunteers, and create excitement around Summer Meals! Additional events during the summer help sustain the enthusiasm to keep participation high! However you choose to celebrate Summer Meals, it’s important to make the events fun, fresh, and entertaining!

Spotlight on San Diego, California! 

Families from around San Diego gathered at Skyline Hills Community Park to celebrate the Summer Fun Café Kick-off 2014. The midday event opened to a beautiful crowd as children flocked to San Diego marathon hero Meb Keflezighi during “A Walk with Meb.” He spoke to excited children on the importance of good health, and how to make being healthy fun!

Children took part in fruit and veggie games with prizes, impromptu workout sessions with Meb, an inflatable jumper, crafts, music, face painting and other activities centered on good nutrition and wellness. Boosters from the San Diego Padres were on the scene providing an extra burst of excitement! 

After working up an appetite, children received a barbeque lunch served by Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Boston Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi, Schools Superintendent Cindi Marten, and California Department of Education Director of Nutrition Services Sandip Kaur. Summer meals for children were served through the Seamless Summer Option of the National School Lunch Program. General Mills provided funding for the cost of the adult meals at the kick-off.

No family left the event empty-handed as everyone received a bag of fruit and vegetables from the San Diego Food Bank and Feeding America San Diego. Almost 1,500 children and their parents were in attendance.

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What worked to make Summer Meals a success?

  • Ability to leverage community resources,
  • Allies to champion Summer Meals,
  • Family engagement,
  • Outside sources of funding for adult meals,
  • State agency support,
  • Strong partners, and
  • Support from State and local elected leaders.

Want to learn more? Go to the Summer Toolkit!