It's back to school time again. For some of us, it's back to school meals. But for many of us that served meals all summer, it's business as usual. However, no matter how you look at it, this time of year is an optimal time to promote your meal programs.
School orientations and open houses are the perfect venue to reach parents. For parents, this may be the best (and possibly only) opportunity this year to interact with your program. Share your menus, nutritional information and meal payment options. Invite feedback on services you offer and are considering, such as breakfast in the classroom, celebration snacks, and catering for after school programs. Consider staffing a table to help with meal program and payment paperwork options and to look up account balances.
Take a fresh look at your online presence. The school nutrition menus are some of the most visited webpages on school district websites. Does your page look professional, interesting and inclusive for all? Do you have information explaining meal service systems and payment options? Is it easy to find nutritional and allergy information? Do you have information and links to relevant policies, such as your local wellness policy?
If your district and/or school administration sends out a welcome letter, ask if you can contribute a school nutrition welcome with brief information on the program. (Be sure to mention if you will be hosting a table at orientations/open houses!) Or consider your own welcome letter that the district office can share with new families.
Finally, implement a communication plan to share nutrition initiatives. You can use this Back to School nutrition post from USDA to get started! Have a great start to the school year!