Using Text Messages to Connect More Kids with More Meals During the Summer
During the school year, more than 328,000 Minnesota children receive free or reduced-price school meals. When summer arrives, only 15 percent of these kids access a Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)—leaving many kids without access to regular meals and nutrition during the summer months. To fill this gap, Second Harvest Heartland teams up with the Minnesota Department of Education to help connect kids with summer meals through SFSP.
In 2012, we launched a new Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area outreach campaign in Metro Transit buses, lightrail trains and neighborhood newspapers to promote and expand participation in SFSP. Those interested in meal site information were asked to text Second Harvest Heartland for more information. To date, trends show a positive increase over past years in the number of text messages received from kids and their families looking for an SFSP meal site during the summer, indicating significant growth in program interest, and ultimately, connecting more kids with more meals over the summer.