Davis Offers Students a Summer Meal Program

Summer-Food-Program

Yesterday’s article posted from Jamie Nash offered a number of ways to promote afterschool and summer meal programs.

She writes, “Providing meals for children through federal Afterschool and Summer Meal Programs is a win-win opportunity for cities. Cities benefit by bringing more federal funds into their neighborhoods, and can improve the health and well-being of low-income children by increasing their access to healthy meals and their participation in fun and safe activities during out-of-school time hours.

“It is important for mayors and other city leaders to build strong partnerships with stakeholders, such as statewide anti-hunger groups, schools, food banks and other community organizations, to implement meal programs in ways that maximize quality and participation,” Ms. Nash writes. “These stakeholders can serve as important outreach partners that help city leaders connect with their residents to make sure they are aware of the resources available to them.”

Danielle Foster, the city’s Housing and Human Services Superintendent, told the Vanguard that the city has been working with the school district the past two years to try to get a Summer Meal Program going. Last summer they succeeded in having a local program in Davis.

She told the Vanguard, “In partnership with Dominic Machi, in student nutrition for DJUSD, city staff was able to assist in promoting and coordinating a local program in 3 locations last summer. The program started with meals at Holmes Junior High and Montgomery Elementary (flyer attached) and then expanded to Windmere Apartments, an affordable housing complex on Fifth street.”

Ms. Foster will get follow up data to the Vanguard on the meals served at the three sites.

The city assisted with the program outreach and a press release. It translated the flyer into Spanish to enable the city and school district to serve kids whose families do not speak English. It assisted in planning locations and identified the Windmere Apartments as a third site. Finally it brought in CHOC (Community Housing Opportunities Corporation) as a partner on the Windmere site.

From yesterday’s article, here are the five ways that city leaders can promote afterschool and summer meal programs in their communities:

  1. Use the bully pulpit to raise awareness of child hunger and promote out-of-school time meal programs. Local elected officials can write op-eds for local newspapers, emphasize the need for afterschool and summer meal programs in public speeches or at events, and promote afterschool and summer meal programs on the city’s website and through newsletters and social media.
  2. Publicize out-of-school time meals through a targeted marketing strategy. An important component of any marketing strategy for out-of-school time meals is a kick-off event. These events can raise awareness about meal programs in a way that brings key stakeholders and families together. Mayors can use kick-off events to frame afterschool and summer meals as a top priority for the city before a large audience of community leaders. Cities can also take advantage of existing national resources such as the National Hunger Hotline (1-866-3HUNGRY) to make meal program site locations and operating hours easily accessible to families. In addition, cities can advertise information about meal sites on utility bills, via robo-calls, or through the city’s 311 information line or the United Way’s 211 information line.
  3. Sponsor Afterschool or Summer Meal Programs. City agencies such as parks and recreation or departments of housing are well-suited to be sponsors of afterschool and summer meal programs and to host meal sites at local facilities, e.g., recreation centers. Staff from a mayor’s office can also coordinate a working group or task force that focuses on the issue of child hunger and identifies strategies to reduce it, including initiatives to increase participation in out-of-school time meal programs. City staff relationships with key community partners, as well as knowledge of where young people congregate after school and during the summer, are integral to the success of these programs.
  4. Partner with community organizations that serve afterschool and summer meals. Local nonprofits and other afterschool providers often act as sponsors to provide afterschool and summer meals as well as activities for young people before and/or after meals. Cities can leverage funding for meal programs in partnership with community-based organizations.
  5. Incorporate child nutrition goals into a broader citywide agenda. City leaders can work with staff responsible for broader citywide initiatives, such as Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties or other initiatives that focus on children and youth to expand the reach and scope of child nutrition programming.

The Vanguard will follow up with the city on the data from last summer’s program.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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17 Comments

  1. sisterhood

    What about the other excellent summer programs Davis used to offer? Do they still offer “Kids in the Kitchen” and “Rainbow Summer”, etc.? The only caveat I had re: those childcare programs: in the old days (15 years ago), the city employees got first dibs at the best programs (the ones in the shade at the park). No matter what the postmark was on the application, or if you stood in line when the City opened its doors the first day of said program enrollment, the City employees had already filled the majority of those spots with their own kids/friends’/family members’ kids. Just sayin’…

    1. hpierce

      Wow!  If that is true (and I don’t doubt it, given the names and roles in the Children’s Nutcracker over the years), it should have been flagged to CM and CC!  Most of the City staff I’ve known over the years would have liked to see that type of behavior “called out”, as they were wanting to be like “Ceasar’s wife”… above reproach, and free of even the perception of ‘special treatment’ in city programs.  I hope that behavior (internal favoritism) is gone, once for all.  If not, it should be called out for what it is, “foul”.

      1. sisterhood

        Re: your suggestion to flag this behavior to CM or CC: Good point.  However, Davis was still somewhat a small town 15 years ago, with many “Marly” types. (Watch the character on “The New Adventures of Old Christine” sometime.) So I couldn’t exactly report my concerns about those Moms when I was (somewhat) surrounded by them. I was protecting my kids’ reputations, not my own. All in the past now. Hopefully, the city run summer programs don’t operate this way any longer. 🙂

        1. hpierce

          I understand your reluctance.  Davis still is a small town, IMO, if you look at ‘degrees of separation’.  That might go to why you and I post “anonymously”.  My perspective on Davis only goes back to 1972, so I’m just a “newbie” compared to many others.  There are very few folks I know, including those who have come into the community ~ 5 or less years ago, who don’t have at least 1-2 people in common.  That indicates, to me at least, we’re still a “small town”.

          I just damn well hope that the behavior you experienced is no longer existing in Parks and Rec (or whatever they are called these days).  That’s just wrong, and the words “patronage” and “corrupt” come to mind.  The great majority of folks I know in the City gov’t would abhor those practices.  Any City employee who participates in that sort of behavior should be disciplined or dismissed.  It flies in the face of those who were drawn to city service, not for the compensation, but for the opportunity to serve, and use their talents.  Those who have that mind-set should be reasonably compensated.

          Will have to look up your movie (?) reference.  The only two Marly’s I know of are fictional characters associated with Scrooge, or a Labrador who was the “world’s worst dog”.

  2. Davis Progressive

    this is a good start, hopefully by pumping this out there we can do more.  i was disconcerted at the comments yesterday that seemed to downplay the need for this.

  3. MrsW

    The article “Apply now for city recreation scholarships” is in today’s Enterprise and here is the link:  http://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/briefly/apply-now-for-city-recreation-scholarships/

    I just did a little experiment, where I went to the City’s website to look for the downloadable forms, as well as the summer schedule.  The mechanics of the exercise frustrated me.  There were other things, like my initial search did not lead me to the correct webpage, but these were the the big ones.  The deadline is next week.  The summer recreation schedule is not available for me to see what the cost is.  I would have to take time off from work, to deliver the application in person.  I don’t have my tax forms and proof of income organized.
    Apply now for city recreation scholarships
    By Enterprise staff
    From page A3 | February 05, 2015 |

    Applications for city of Davis recreation scholarships to be used this summer and fall and next winter are being accepted now. The deadline to apply during this “initial application” period is Feb. 13.

    Scholarship money is allocated each year to low-income households to help offset the cost of city recreation programs. Those who qualify will receive 50 percent of program fees up to their allotted household amount.

    “Because the amount of funding and number of subsidy requests varies, we are not able to provide a specific income cut-off for applications,” a news release said. “Families with the lowest incomes will be granted subsidies first.”

    Scholarship applications are available at the Community Services Department, 600 A St., Suite C; the Davis Senior Center, 646 A St.; and online at http://www.cityofdavis.org. For more information, call 530-757-5696.

     

    1. South of Davis

      SODA asked:

      > Again I ask:  what kind of food was served?  Healthy or pop tarts and choc milk?

      I’m also interested in who actually decides what the kids eat.  A Google search shows that Kellogg (the maker of Pop tarts and other garbage that some people call breakfast “food”) has given millions over the years in political donations.  Do the guys that get the cash from Kellogg year after year decide that “Pop Tarts are what the kids eat” year after year?

      I asked yesterday (and didn’t get an answer):
      > Does anyone know who runs the school lunch program in Davis (and what union represents them)?
      With many “affordable” housing programs the landowners that donate to politicians make millions, the contractors and developers that donate to politicians make millions the unions that donate to politicians get dozens of patronage $100K+ plus jobs (and more dues) and the poor get slightly lower rent…
      If Davis is starting a program to get food to hungry kids I’m hoping that the poor kids come first (vs. last in most other government programs) and are not just being used as a fake reason to buy millions of poor quality food from politically connected huge companies, pay millions to politically connected logistics firms to get the poor quality food to schools around the country and pass out high paying union patronage jobs to friends, relatives and girlfriends…

      1. Davis Progressive

        i’m sure wdf could have more info…

        Local and Gourmet School Lunches

        SNS Broccoli.jpgDominic Machi, the new DJUSD Director of Student Nutrition Services (SNS) hit the ground running this summer getting school cafeteria equipment repaired or upgraded, meeting the staff, and actively contacting local farmers, bakeries and food suppliers to bring even more local food to the schools. Mr. Machi brings his 38 years of experience to the district, including serving as a chef in four-star restaurants and working in food services in a school district serving 25,000 meals a day. He has introduced to DJUSD cafeterias gourmet recipes so “House Made” food dominates the school cafeteria menus.

        For some years now SNS has tried to focus on local farms, and Mr. Machi is taking that process to a new level. With strong cooperation from local vendors and businesses new products have been introduced like bread made just for DJUSD that fit USDA nutritional guidelines and still meet taste standards. As Davis Farm to School committee chair Dorothy Peterson said, “Dominic is just the person that our nutritional goals for Yolo Farm to Fork (YF2F) and Davis Farm to School (DF2S) has needed. He has brought new life, accountability and creativity to the school lunch program.”

        An exciting new effort is the Harper Harvest Project under the leadership of Carrie Juchau, the Harper garden and recycling coordinator. With the help of many dedicated school, university and community volunteers, 2,400 broccoli and 400 lettuce seedlings were planted and soon it will be time to harvest the broccoli, which will be prepared and served in school cafeterias across the district. If you’d like to volunteer to help with the harvest which will take place every Friday morning in February, please contact Carrie Juchau at cjuchau@djusd.net. Once the broccoli has been harvested, Mr. Machi agreed to have Harper plant 600 tomato plants to be used for sauces prepared in the SNS central kitchen this spring.

        1. KSmith

          And I just don’t get this (from the article):

          “Eggs and whole-grain cereals like oatmeal—with kid-friendly, healthy toppings—would also be fine choices. However none of this may be affordable fare.”

          How is sugar-sweetened, highly-processed cereal cheaper than oatmeal? Last time I checked, oatmeal is hecka cheap–way cheaper than one of those $6.00 boxes of uber-sweetened cereal.

      2. KSmith

        South of Davis:

        Here’s an article I found that seems to speak to this issue:

        http://civileats.com/2014/05/23/industry-packaged-school-breakfasts-better-for-kids-than-nothing/

        Also, I know from reading a book by Marian Nestle (no relation to the Nestle family) that there is a “revolving door” between these big food manufacturers and the regulatory agencies in DC that are meant to put limits on them (like the FDA, and probably the USDA, which oversees the school nutrition programs).

        You’ll note in the article above that these companies aren’t trying to get oatmeal or good, whole-grain cereals or other nutrtionally-dense foods into the schools. They are pushing sugar-sweetened (or more correctly high-fructose corn syrup sweetened) cereals and Pop Tarts, since that’s what generates more money per unit of food.

  4. sisterhood

    Re: free or reduced lunch programs for low income families or children who lost or forgot their lunch money: Does North Davis still do the unofficial procedure of making these kids go to the back of the bus oops line? Seriously, they used to do that at North Davis Elementary…And some kids would forego lunch because they’d rather play with their friends or sit with their friends while they were gobbling down their sandwiches so they could quickly get out on the playground and play for the remainder of lunch.

  5. Miwok

    Since, SOD told me yesterday this is for families AND kids, why do they keep portraying it as a Poor Kids Program. The other comments claim this is the First program, except David’s article says they did it last summer?

    I guess if it happened BW (Before Wolk,), it didn’t exist.

    “SNS Broccoli.jpgDominic Machi, the new DJUSD Director of Student Nutrition Services (SNS) hit the ground running this summer getting school cafeteria equipment repaired or upgraded, ”

    Another question is why the School needs to have equipment “repaired”? Were these kitchens being used during the school year, and why would they not be operational now?

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