Healthy School Meals - Other Challenges
Each school’s needs and challenges around school meals are different, so you may choose to address other issues that are unique to your school. These areas of focus will help increase the availability of healthy meals and further promote a healthy school environment.
Working to ensure your community has a summer meal site can help combat childhood hunger. Talk to your school leaders about your school becoming a summer meals site. Once you have an identified site, help get the word out.
Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)
CEP allows eligible schools and school districts to serve school meals free of charge, to all students, without completing paperwork every year. If your school has a high percentage of students who receive school meals for free or at a reduced price, it may be eligible for CEP. Talk with your nutrition services director and school leaders to see if your school qualifies.
Fundraising in your school should promote the right message and support the school meals efforts. Learn what other foods at school compete with the nutritious food available through the school meals program. Work with your local wellness committee to create healthy fundraising and "smart snacks" policies that your district and/or school will follow. Make sure to set the same example in your PTA fundraising events.
- Smart Snacks and Child Nutrition: (National PTA) Helps PTAs be a successful partner in the transition to Smart Snacks, including alternatives when fundraising is necessary.
- Summer Meals Site Finder (USDA): Helps families and children easily find summer meal sites near them.
- Summer texting hotline (Share Our Strength): Families in need can text the word “FOOD” or “COMIDA” (in Spanish) to 877-877 and receive a text back with the address of summer feeding sites closest to them, or information about how to find their closest feeding site.
- USDA Community Eligibility Provision Resource Center: Provides extensive resources for parents, teachers, and school officials at the local, state, and Federal level to better understand CEP and its positive benefits, along with useful tools to help facilitate successful implementation of the provision in your school!
- BagtheJunk.org (NEA Health Information Network): An online resource to educate, mobilize and empower communities to replace junk foods and sugary drinks sold in schools with healthier options.