With fall here, it’s time to reflect on the Summer Meals Program, a federally funded program that allows anyone under 18 to receive free meals over the summer months.
Also, it’s time to celebrate! Despite operating with fewer sites, over 654,000 meals were served to hungry children in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. This effort involved a multitude of partners including local governments, public health departments, school districts, non-profit/community based organizations and faith-based communities.
Photo taken at a “Lunch at the Library” this summer
Partners embraced bringing meals to the people, and highlights included the launch of a mobile meals program with East Side Union High School District (ESUHSD) that crossed gang lines in community parks and housing complexes. Diverse partnerships were involved in this effort including: Councilmember Sylvia Arenas, Project Access, First 5, The Health Trust, Santa Clara Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services, the San Jose Juvenile Department, and the San Jose Police Department. Overall, ESUHSD provided breakfast, lunch and snacks to ten schools and eight community locations and served over 100,000 meals during the months of June, July and August. Furthermore, Mountain View Whisman School District’s mobile efforts at parks and housing complexes continued. Plans are already in motion to expand access next year with their new food truck. Learn more about their Summer Nutrition Program here.
In an expanded outreach campaign, Second Harvest distributed over 50,000 flyers, 60,000 door hangers and 178 banners. We also purchased 20 VTA ads, trained local Promotores, conducted radio and TV interviews, set up robo-calls to school districts, funded caretaker meals and more.
Our communities’ outreach efforts worked. Over 1,000 meals more per site were distributed in 2018 compared to Summer 2017.