Summer Meal Sites
Increase by 5% the number of sites that provide summer meals to individuals 18 years of age and younger throughout the county by August 31, 2019.
Why is this important?
Food insecurity is an important public health issue. It can lead to poor nutrition, development and mental health problems, poor academic outcomes, as well as increased risk of chronic diseases¹.
In San Bernardino County, close to one in five children (20%) experience food insecurity². Federal nutrition programs such as the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs provide low-income children with free/reduced priced meals (FRPM) during the school year to help ensure good nutrition. Over 70% of San Bernardino County’s students are eligible for FRPM³.
The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) or Seamless Summer Option (SSO) helps fill the summer hunger gap for children ages 18 and younger when school is not in session⁴. In our county, only 4% of those that received FRPM during the 2016 school year took part in the federal USDA Summer Nutrition programs, which targets at-risk children⁵. This data highlights the urgent need to make sure summer meal programs are available for at-risk children.
What are we working on?
To further bridge the summer hunger gap, the San Bernardino County Nutrition Action Partnership (CNAP), comprised of many sectors in education, government, non-profit groups and health care systems, works to increase the number of summer meal sites and to promote greater usage of these services.
To meet this goal, the CNAP Summer Meal Subcommittee meets several times a year to:
• Unite Summer Meal sponsors and partners, especially those with potential new sites for summer meals.
• Increase promotion through sharing of literature, messages and presentations.
• Plan Summer Meal kick-off events at summer meal sites to attract more children and their families.
• Recognize sponsors and partners that are making strides to improve summer meal program quality.
How are we doing?
In 2017, there were 204 summer meal sites (baseline) countywide which grew to 252 in 2018, a 23.5% increase⁶. In 2019, there were 242 summer meal sites. Since 2017, five San Bernardino County school districts have been awarded the prestigious USDA Summer Sunshine Award for exemplary summer meal programs related to excellence in partnerships, innovative and impactful enrichment activities and bringing the farm to summer meals. Overall, this collaborative work-group approach, coordinated by our Nutrition program, has been effective in increasing summer meal program sites, promotion and quality. Below is a map indicating summer meals sites that offered meals in 2019.
What can you do?
Promote the Summer Meal program through your spheres of influence, coordinate with Summer Meal sponsors to provide enrichment activities at summer meal sites and support the increase of summer meal sites by connecting summer meal sponsors to interested community sites.
¹ ² ³ ⁴ ⁵ ⁶San Bernardino County Department of Public Health Nutrition Program, Food Security and Obesity in San Bernardino County 2017
Last Update: 09/16/2019