As you know we're getting ready for summer. Last Friday we hosted an Informational Meeting and Food Tasting Event for summer camps and youth programs who are interested in becoming a summer site and serving free meals. Summer camps had a chance to connect with food sponsor and try out their menu items, as well as learn about the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Last year we hosted a similar event but only for NORDC sites, but this year we opened it to non-NORDC programs across Orleans Parish. The event included food tasting, sponsor presentations, a review of SFSP and the expectations of sites and sponsors. It also served as a great chance to network and discuss best practices. Additionally, camps learned about our summer grants and what areas they covers.
Potential summer sites were invited to try sample snacks and meals from sponsors including Second Harvest, Fresh Food Factor, Sodexo and Revolution Foods. During the presentations sponsors went over the way they prepare and deliver meals. Some meals are cold or hot meals, and therefor require extra warmers or fridges. Several sponsors have opted to use healthier recipes and some use produce from local farms. For example, Revolution Foods doesn’t use artificial colors, flavors or preservatives in their meals. They are “kid-oriented, but with no preservatives,” said Keith Brown, Revolution Foods, Director of Business Development.
Revolution Foods served veggie pepperoni calzone, chicken teriyaki with brown veggie rice, and egg- salad sandwich. Sodexo served the classic dishes like chicken-salad sandwiches, diced chicken gravy and macaroni & cheese. Fresh Food Factor had Italian-inspired dishes including, calzonettes, Stromboli with salad marinara, and Shepherd’s Pie. And Second Harvest brought traditional hearty meals like red bean sausage, baked chicken, creole rice, and beef tacos.
In a couple of weeks camps and youth programs will have to choose between these sponsor. “Be sure to pick the food you like and the one that fits your program,” said, Rhonda Jackson, No Kid Hungry Director. And she reminded everyone of an important rule: “choose your sponsor before training and site visits!”
If you missed our Food Tasting Event, it’s not too late to become a summer site. You have until April 15, 2016 for your camp or youth program to connect with a sponsor. The role of a sponsor is to manage the SFPS sites, by training sites, preparing, delivering meals, as well as monitoring sites and filing for reimbursement. A sponsor’s goal is to ensure that summer sites are sustainable through community partnerships, fundraising and volunteer recruitment. Click here for more info.