Summer Programs
Do you have a summer success story or best practice that you’ve found to be helpful to your organization’s success in ensuring access to food for children in need? Would you be thrilled to have it shared so that others may be inspired to do the same? Please fill out this short Summer Success Story Submission Form to share your success. For past summer program success stories, please scroll below.

Summer Success Stories 2016


Partnerships are Key to Success of Anthony ISD Kick-off Events

" SFSP kick-off events at Anthony ISD have grown to include a variety of fun and exciting activities for children and their families. In 2016 a bike giveaway was part of the event.
For six years Anthony Independent School District (ISD) has kicked off its Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) with a day of summer fun for local children. The kick-off started small, but has grown into a well-attended event with a wide range of exciting activities.

“I remember we started with a water splash — the fire department opened the water hydrant and splashed the kids,” Anthony ISD Child Nutrition Director Jesus Carrasco said. “Over the years we have partnered with other organizations to help us make the day more successful.”

Bicycles at Anthony ISD SFSP kickoffBy partnering with the Texas Hunger Initiative and local businesses, Anthony ISD added a water slide, a dunking booth and carnival games at the kick-off in 2016. Anthony ISD also gave away 10 bikes that were purchased using business donations.

The district got the support of local businesses by sending letters asking them to support SFSP activities and the kick-off event. Vendors were asked to participate in the 2016 kick-off “carnival” by bringing games and asking children to participate to get free prizes.

“In 2016 we had sack races,” Carrasco said. “I had a line of parents on one side and a group of kids on the other side. I wanted the parents to get involved. I gave away tickets to a water park for our winners.Fire hose spray for kids at Anthony ISD kick-off event for SFSPWe try to make it fun.”

Anthony ISD’s SFSP kick-off shows that even when it starts small, a kick-off can gain momentum throughbuilding additional partnerships. For instance, inviting TV stations and community newspapers can provide valuable exposure if media outlets choose to attend the event for an opportunity to produce a positive news story. Regardless of the size, kick-off events offer SFSP contracting entities an excellent chance to connect with local children and increase awareness of SFSP. 


Summer Success Stories 2015


Libraries Serve Up Fun Activities and Healthy Meals for Families


This summer, 11 librariesGirl with cantaloupe at Dallas Library in Dallas are offering much more than an impressive selection of books and a quiet place to read. Operating under the sponsorship of Equal Heart, a nonprofit working to end hunger, these libraries serve as Summer Food Service Program sites where Dallas children can enjoy healthy meals and enriching activities during the summer months.

“Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from both the community and the staff,” said North Oak Cliff Branch Library Manager Ray Sablack.

During the first two weeks of operations 5,900 meals were served across all locations. The success has been so impressive that the Dallas Public Library Youth Services Administrator, Melissa Dease, has been asked to make a presentation at a statewide conference for librarians to encourage other libraries to participate next summer. Some branches have as many as 100 children show up to eat.

The North Oak Cliff Branch features a long list of activities scheduled throughout the summer. There are activities suitable for teens as well as young children. Also, there are weekly crochet groups, a book club, weekly art classes, computer classes, and more for adults.

Summer Food Service lunch at Dallas libraryFamilies arrive at the library for activities that begin at 11 a.m. and lunch is at 12:30. A snack is served at 2:30 and while there is sometimes a program at 1 or 2 p.m., there are so many things to do at the library some families stay from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sablack said that teens are coming in specifically for the snack time and staying afterward.

“Our library has a mission of bringing our community together and the Summer Food Program has proven itself very easy to integrate into that vision,” Sablack said. “We are learning more about our patrons, patrons are learning more about the library, and everyone is working together to create a stronger sense of community throughout our neighborhood.”

Posted July 1, 2015

Mayor Enjoys Summer Lunch with Hutto ISD Nutrition Director


The Hutto Independent Mayor Holland at Hutto ISDSchool District (HISD) had a special lunch guest this summer when Hutto Mayor Debbie Holland joined Suzi David, child nutrition services director for HISD, for a summer lunch at Cottonwood Elementary. Mayor Holland is part of the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Healthy Community Network and she wanted to experience firsthand the work the district is doing to serve healthy meals to children in need.

“I was most impressed with not only the choices of food that are being offered to these children, but more importantly, the commitment being made by Hutto ISD to take care of the children of Hutto,” said Mayor Holland. “This program is invaluable.”  

HISD serves about 600 people a day during the summer. The district is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s summer nutrition programs. These programs are administered in Texas by TDA, in partnership with local meal provider agencies.

Photo:Left to right, Jorge Franco, Hutto ISD summer school principal, Esau Milenthal, Hutto ISD chef, Suzi David, nutrition services director, Ed Ramos, deputy superintendent, and Debbie Holland, mayor of Hutto. 

Posted August 5, 2014

Flour Bluff ISD Gets a Jump on Summer Nutrition with Outreach


Flour Bluff Independent Flour Bluff ISD staffSchool District starts its summer nutrition program well before summer vacation begins. Nutrition Director Gina Valdez said her nutrition team displays summer program posters in the cafeteria and sends fliers home with students before the school year ends. Additional outreach efforts include announcements at School Health Advisory Council meetings and on the district’s website.

“The goal of the Flour Bluff ISD School Nutrition Department is to provide an opportunity for all students to receive a warm, nutritious and delicious meal in a safe and clean environment,” Valdez said.

Flour Bluff ISD directorThese efforts have contributed to a successful partnership with the Texas Department of Agriculture of more than 10 years in offering the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Seamless Summer Option.

Photos: Top, Angela Jones and Paula O'Connor stand ready to serve nutritious summer meals at Flour Bluff ISD. Left, Nutrition Director Gina Valdez is proud of the healthy options such as fresh apples that the district offers in the summer.

Posted August 5, 2014. 

Nutritious Summer Food is a Big Deal in Dallas


On June 17, the Dallas Dallas ISD SFSP 2014Independent School District had a big kickoff event to highlight its big Summer Food Service Program. For the event, the district partnered with Dallas Park and Recreation, Texas Hunger Initiative, United Way, several radio stations and other organizations. The event also featured fun activities and special guests.

One of the very special guests was John Sattler of Sun Bar Ranch in Tyler. Fresh blueberries and peaches from Sun Bar Ranch are part of Dallas ISD’s summer menus. Other exciting menu offerings this year included chicken fajita soft tacos, baked rotini, watermelon cubes and baby carrots.

Dallas ISD is serving meals at 207 locations through August 22. Families in the Dallas area can find meals at more than 180 Dallas ISD schools and more than 20 community locations such as colleges, parks and youth activity centers. Dallas ISD is inviting all children to access good nutrition by participating in the program.

Updated August 5, 2014

Districts' Mobile Meal Sites Featured in Local Media


Some Texas school districts Texas City ISD Sting Mobiletook the cafeteria to the children this summer to ensure youngsters who don’t have consistent access to healthy meals during the summer vacation could get good nutrition through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) summer nutrition programs. The buses serve those children who do not live within walking distance of a traditional meal site and do not have the transportation necessary to travel to a site.

The mobile meal efforts of two districts, San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District and Texas City Independent School District, have been featured in local media. Most recently, a television crew from the CBS affiliate in nearby Austin went to San Marcos to report on the San Marcos CISD’s Mobile Meals bus. The reporter and a photojournalist visited a neighborhood where meals from the bus are served, as well as the local library where meals also are served.

Texas City ISD Sting MobileEarlier this year, the Galveston newspaper featured an article touting the meals served on Texas City ISD’s Sting Mobile bus. The newspaper reporter wrote that during summer vacation a school bus seems like the last thing a child would want to see, but in Texas City, “the arrival of a school bus during the summer break will actually be something they may enjoy.”

Whether it’s delivered to the children or served at a traditional meal site these meals provide important nutrition so children can return to school in the fall nourished and ready to succeed. The districts partner with the Texas Department of Agriculture to serve the meals that are funded by USDA.

Photos: The Texas City ISD Sting Mobile. Photos by Kevin M. Cox/The Galveston County Daily News

Posted August 4, 2014.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, 
color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.  
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:  
U.S. Department of Agriculture 
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 
1400 Independence Avenue, SW 
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; 
(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or 
(3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

© 2017 Texas Department of Agriculture