Children Eating

Cal Pro NET | California Professional Nutrition Education Training Center

Outreach Toolkit

To Promote California School Meal Programs

Target Audience

  • Students
    Students are customers. Participating in the school meal program is always a choice, so in order for students to decide to participate, you must ensure that they recognize the value of the school lunch. When marketing to students focus on what the benefit would be to them in participating in the NSLP. For instance, students want to socialize during meal times, so focus on speed of service. Students want a say in what they eat, so include them in testing new products, and provide them choices.
  • Food Service Staff
    Food Service Staff are on the front line and are the face of the program. It is important that they recognize the purpose, value, and impact of their work. Food Service Staff who take pride in their work will "sell" the program through their commitment and enthusiasm. The Child Nutrition Act preamble states that it is the programs responsibility, "... to safeguard the health and well-being of the Nation's children..." Help employees see how important they are to the success of students' futures.
  • Parents
    Parents want to know that their children are cared for during the school day. Food typically elicits emotions because it brings back memories of favorite family events and recipes. It is important to tell your own story to parents so they receive accurate information. Share with parents the care, thought and pride that goes into each meal offered.
  • Teachers and Administrators
    While teachers and administrators are members of your school district they are often under-informed about the scope of the Child Nutrition program. Sharing the rules, regulations and expectations surrounding Child Nutrition can assist in adding value to the program in the eyes of the teachers and administrators. Share with teachers ways that successful Child Nutritiion programs may help them in the classroom. For instance, students who are well nourished will be better able to retain the valuable lessons taught by the teachers. In addition, eating well reduces the likelihood of absenteeism, which generates more ADA funding for administration.
  • Community
    While parents, staff and administrators are a part of the community, consider expanding marketing projects to target local business and government, and different departments within the city or local area. Explain how the Child Nutrition program promotes the city's goals and provides an important benefit to the community.