Community Outreach: “Picnic in the Park”

One great summer outreach opportunity in Idaho is Picnic in the Park (also known as the “Simplified Summer Food Program”; it may be referred to by other names in different parts of the state).

Image of Summer Food Program brochure

From the program brochure: This program makes sure that children in many parts of the state have free, healthy meals over most of their summer vacations. Lunches (and sometimes breakfasts) may be served at a park, school, church and other places in many Idaho communities. (Click here to view the full informational brochure for this program).

This program is a great way to reach out to families in many Idaho communities with information about Community Health Centers (CHCs) and the Idaho CHIP/Medicaid program. You may be able to get involved in several ways. Some ideas for getting involved are:

  • Place CHIP/Medicaid brochures or informational flyers in the lunch bags
  • Volunteer to help hand out lunch bags or be part of the ‘lunch line’
  • Bring a fun activity for kids to enjoy (bubbles, Frisbee, soccer ball, etc)
  • Provide informational materials on other services provided at your CHC (well-child checks, immunizations, sports physicals, dental services, mental health screenings, etc)
  • Set up a “healthy behaviors” station with bottled water / milk /fruit or something that the child can take home with them to eat later. Provide information about nutritious food choices, exercise and active play.
  • Have a sign-up list available for parents or caretakers who want more information about CHIP/Medicaid or need help with the process.

These are just a few ideas of ways to connect through this community program and reach out to the families attending. Each program site may do things a bit differently, so it’s a good idea to reach out to the local contact person to discuss ideas or opportunities for that particular area.

Here is a link to a map of all Picnic in the Park / Summer Food Program locations in Idaho: http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/cnp/summerFoods/map.htm

Double-click on the map to zoom in; you can click on individual locations to view the days and times when food is served, and also to view the contact person for that site.

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