Volunteer-led Summer Meals Outreach for Kids and Teens
“Over 96,000 King County children utilize free or reduced lunch in school, an 8.5% increase since 2006. However in 2011 only 9.6% of these children who are eligible for free lunch accessed free summer meals.”
This was part of the training for the outreach events that the United Way of King County Summer Meals volunteers took part in. Volunteers attended a short training on how the Summer Food Service Program works, why we needed to do outreach, and what they were going to be doing that day. Attendance was fantastic at all three events that were conducted on June 16th in Des Moines and Federal Way and on the 23rd in South Seattle. We had some awesome volunteers who not only braved the rain, but asked some great questions such as:
A: Sites are physical locations where meals are served during a supervised time period. Sites could be located at parks, pools, community centers, churches, apartment complexes, schools, or libraries. Each meal site has a sponsor and is either considered open or closed.
Q: How does a site become open? (Meaning children do not need to provide qualifying information in order to eat there)
A: Sites can become eligible to be open by either being in the attendance area of a school that has 50% or more students on free and reduced lunch or by being in a census block area with 185% poverty or more.
Q: How do people find out about the times meals are served?
A: Families and children can find out about where a meal is being served, the times, and the days of the week by calling 1-888-4-FOOD-WA (1-888-436-6392), visiting this website www.parenthelp123.org or texting FoodWA to 877-877
Q: How can we find out about volunteer opportunities at the sites?
A: This last question got us (the AmeriCorps at UWKC) thinking. We are in the process of encouraging all meal sites to post volunteer opportunities on our website so that community members who are interested in helping out with the Summer Meal Service Program can find sites that need volunteers.
The RESULTS are in from the two outreach weekends, DRUMROLL PLEASE……..
We had a total of 60 volunteers who put up around 7,500-8,000 door hangers. Still interested in being a part of outreach for the Summer Food Service program, but missed the UWKC outreach days? No problem! If you are interested in going out with your family or spearheading your own outreach event we can provide the materials just email Morgan Winkler (that’s me) at email@example.com.