The mobile feeding model may be used in any community -- rural, urban, and even suburban areas! Each “stop” on a mobile feeding route is considered a site, and has to be area eligible, just like any other open summer meal site. Children must remain at the site while they eat their meals. A successful mobile feeding model requires community collaboration, advance planning, and creativity to effectively design routes, prepare menus, and schedule meal service times.
Spotlight on Browning, Montana!
It’s hard to miss the giant truck with oversized pictures of fruits and veggies and the words “Kids Eat Here Free” covering its sides. Even if you cannot see the truck, you are sure to hear it! Music blasts from the speakers sitting on the cab of the truck, letting the neighborhood know healthy meals have arrived.
A large window on the side of the truck pulls open to form an awning and fold out picnic tables are set up underneath. The cook scoops chili, cornbread, carrots, an apple, and milk onto plates for kids as they come to the window. The kids talk and laugh together in the shade of the truck as they eat their lunch.
Before the food truck started coming to their neighborhood, these kids would have to cross multiple busy streets, with no crosswalk and no adults to guide them, to reach the schools where summer meals are served. Now all these kids have to do is wait for the truck to pull up to receive free and healthy meals in the safety of their neighborhood!
For more information, check out the Montana "Summer Food Best Practice Guide."
What worked to make summer meals a success?
- Reaching unserved areas of need.
- Ability to leverage community resources, and
- Strong partners.