Sixteen NC Summer Nutrition Program Sponsors and Sites Recognized Statewide

Summer Nutrition Programs fulfill a critical need in providing nourishment and educational enrichment to children when school is out. Sixteen sponsors and sites for NC Summer Nutrition Programs were recently recognized with one of five state-level awards for innovations in increasing participation and offering appealing, nutritious meals.
The Rising Star Award recognizes superior first-year NC Summer Nutrition Program sponsors that include a menu that promotes a healthy lifestyle and sustainable participation or partnerships. The Going the Distance in Innovation Award recognizes returning sponsors that implement innovative marketing strategies to increase participation. The Superior Site Award recognizes a sponsor or site for going above and beyond to gain and maintain participation from the local children and community. The Farm-to-Summer Award recognizes sponsors for procuring and incorporating local foods into meals and offering educational enrichment activities centered on local food and agriculture. The Turnip the Beet Award recognizes sponsors for providing nutrition education, conducting taste tests with children (incorporating feedback into menus), and offering quality meals that are appealing, culturally-appropriate, nutritious, and include local foods, a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and low-fat or fat-free dairy.
NC Summer Nutrition Programs, administered by NC Department of Public Instruction’s School Nutrition Services, serve nutritious meals to children up to age 18 living in low-income areas (where 50 percent or more of the students qualify for no-cost or reduced-price school meals). These programs may operate in schools, public housing centers, camps, parks, faith-based facilities, and other sites where students gather when school is out. Meals are served to eligible children at no cost, and registration is not required. Last summer, NC Summer Nutrition Programs served more than 4.6 million meals to children and teens at nearly 3,000 locations across the state.
The complete list of award winners, state-level awards criteria, and information regarding NC Summer Nutrition Programs can be found on the NCDPI, School Nutrition Services website,
Submitted by Tracey Bates