Creative Strategies for a More Successful Summer Food Service Program

If your district is participating in a local Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), you know how important it is to provide nutritious meals even after the last day of school. There are many ways to increase participation in the program, including some out-of-the-box methods you may have never considered. These creative tips can help you brainstorm how to best promote your SFSP this summer.

Host fun events! Kick off your program with a fun event to engage sponsors, partners, families, and the community. You could host a health fair, a group exercise class, contests, music and more! Keep the events going throughout the year to re-engage the community, as site attendance tends to drop off in early July. Take a look at the USDA Food and Nutrition Service resources for information on how to bring your events to life!

Know your audience! Cater to the unique tastes of younger children, teens, and everyone in between. If your program allows, it may be beneficial to consider serving different age groups at different times in different ways. Targeting teens can be a challenge, so try taking your promotions to social media, plan events targeted towards teens, and provide volunteer or job opportunities to really get older students involved.

Go farm fresh with locally sourced fruits and vegetables! Did you know SFSP aligns well with a lot of peak growing seasons?  You can help support local growers while providing the very best for the children you serve! The USDA provides resources for incorporating local food into your SFSP menu.

Take your meals mobile! Expand your audience by hitting the road with your program. Consider a bus or food truck to bring summer feeding to the customer. Many programs are moving towards food trucks, for example, New Haven, Connecticut served more than 700 meals in their first week with their food truck on the road!

Partner with summer camps! Local summer camps are often responsible for providing lunch for many kids at a time. By partnering with summer camps, they can offer nutritious meals for lunch at no cost, while you bring in a bus full of hungry kids to your SFSP!

Serve adults too! Often times parents, guardians, and other adults accompany children to the feeding sites. Offset some of your expenses by providing meals that also appeal to these adults. Additionally, serving adults can help boost family and community engagement, provide children with healthy role models, and expand your site’s impact on hunger and nutrition. Read more here about the USDA’s regulations on feeding adults.  

Check out the USDA-FNS’s Summer Meals Toolkit for more creative ideas and resources for bringing these strategies to life!

I’m ‘Bacon’ You to Try this Frittata for National School Breakfast Week

This week is National School Breakfast Week!

This Bacon and Cheese Breakfast Frittata is one of the breakfast recipes from the 2016 Meals Plus Child Nutrition Cookbook, which you can download here. The cookbook includes recipes from Meals Plus Customers and school breakfast recipes using USDA foods. Its hard to beat a recipe this good!

Bacon and Cheese Breakfast Frittata

Menu_planning_technologyYields: 96
Serving Size: 1 piece
Food Group Components: 2.5 oz. eq. meat/meat alternate,
1/8 cup starchy vegetable
Recipe Type: Entree
Allergens: No Listed Allergens


10 lb. 11 oz. – pasteurized whole eggs, frozen (USDA Material #100045)
4 lb. 11.5 oz. – chopped roasted redskin potatoes, seasoned
3 lb. – American cheese, shredded, reduced fat
1 lb. – premium cooked turkey bacon pieces
1 oz. – pan spray, butter flavored


3 days prior to day of service:

  1. Pull eggs from freezer. Open cases and remove cartons from case.
  2. Place cartons on sheet pans with space between to allow for thawing.
  3. Place pans on lowest available shelf in cooler to thaw. CCP: Hold below 41° F.
  4. Wash hands thoroughly.

Day of service pre-prep:

  1. Clean and sanitize workstation.
  2. Pull 4-24 count muffin tins (2 3/4” cup) and place at workstation. Spray lightly with pan spray. Place muffin pans on sheet pans covered in parchment paper.
  3. Pull eggs, turkey bacon pieces and cheese from cooler and place at workstation.
  4. Pull seasoned diced redskins from freezer and place at workstation.
  5. Empty eggs into 1 1/2-gallon container. CCP: Prepare foods at room temperature in two hours or less. TOTAL time of food at room temperature shall not exceed four hours.

Day of service continued:

  1. Wash hands thoroughly and cover with gloves.
  2. Whisk eggs well.
  3. Place 1/8 cup or .78 oz. of diced seasoned redskin potatoes in bottom of each cup, using 1 oz. spoodle.
  4. Sprinkle each cup with 1 tbsp. of bacon pieces.
  5. Sprinkle each cup with 1/2 oz. of shredded cheese.
  6. Pour eggs into cups slowly (1.78 oz. each).
  7. Cups will be full.


  1. Bake in preheated convection oven at 375° F for 17- 20 minutes or until an internal temperature of 165° F is reached and they are lightly browned. CCP: Heat until an internal temperature is reached of 165° F for 15 seconds. SOP: Batch cook as necessary to insure best end product and nutritional.
  2.  Remove from oven. The muffins will be puffy and sink as they rest. Let rest 2 minutes. Empty from pans onto parchment paper lined sheet pans and place in warmer. CCP: Hold above 135° F. Serve 1 bacon & cheese frittata. CCP: Hold above 135° F.

Nutrients per serving:

Calories – 130
Chol (mg) – 225
Sodium (mg) – 260
Fiber (gm) – 1*
Iron (mg) – 2
Calc (mg) – 59
Vit A (IU) – 307
Vit C (mg) – 3
Protein (gm) – 9
Carb (gm) – 17
Tot Fat (gm) – 7
Sat Fat (gm) – 2
Sugars (gm) – 0
Trans Fat (gm) – 0.000*