Summer Food Matters

COVID-19 and School Nutrition Services in Nebraska

Nebraska Appleseed is meeting the challenges of COVID-19 and distance learning in Nebraska schools by working to spread awareness of continued school grab and go meal services in Nebraska communities. Find meals near you with the resources below:

  • The Nebraska Department of Education has identified nearly 200 districts around the state operating free, grab and go meal services to kids 1-18. Find a map of “open to all” and “closed” (or only available to kids enrolled) locations here.
  • The USDA’s Meals 4 Kids map shares open site information but also includes open meal sites across the US.
  • Text “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to No Kid Hungry’s texting service at 877-877 to get referred to the 3 closest meal sites open near you.

If your organization, agency, or school is supporting meal service for kids during this crisis, you could be eligible for grant funding through the No Kid Hungry campaign. Learn more and start the application process here.

Empty classrooms should not mean empty stomachs

Nebraska Summer Food Service Program

Nebraska Appleseed is working to keep kids eating when school is out over the summer. Dozens of community organizations, agencies, and schools across Nebraska utilize the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) which provides free meals to kids age one to 18. This program feeds thousands of children across the state who may be without consistent meals during the summer.

Nebraska Best Practices Toolkit

Over 9 months, Nebraska Appleseed, with support from the Children’s Hospital of Omaha, surveyed, interviewed, and observed Nebraska SFSP sponsors. From that wealth of information, data, and wisdom, we created the first NE SFSP Best Practices Toolkit! Download to find innovative Nebraska methods and examples for improving participation at your summer program!

Download the NE SFSP Toolkit


With the Nebraska Department of Education, we are hosting two webinars to support sponsors seeking to improve SFSP participation with Nebraska-tested best practices. Tune in to join us (by clicking the links) or look for the recordings posted following the webinars.

Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2pm CT
Topics: activities on site and building community partnerships
Presenters: Eric Savaiano, Nebraska Appleseed / Kayte Partch, NDE / Alynn Sampson, Food Bank of Lincoln / Brenda Buchholz, Overton Public Schools

Thursday, Feb. 20, 2 pm CT
Topics: menu planning and advertising
Presenters: Eric Savaiano, Nebraska Appleseed / Kayte Partch, NDE / Justin Wiley, Millard Public Schools

What will you do next?

Of all these homegrown Nebraska ideas, we hope you’ll take at least one away with you to try. Fill out the 3-minute survey below at tell us your plans!

Take The Survey


NDE Summer Equipment Grants (up to $15,000!)

Nebraska Department of Education is currently accepting applications for the 2020 Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Expansion Grant. Applications close on February 28th, 2020. This is an excellent opportunity to expand your organization’s reach and engage more students in participating. The grant is available annually and you can apply each year!

More Resources

More information regarding the Summer Food Service Program or child hunger in America can be found at the Nebraska Department of Education, the Food Research and Action Center, No Kid Hungry, and the USDA. If you would like promotional material or have further questions, reach out to Eric Savaiano at or 402-438-8853 ext. 126.

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