Launch a No Kid Hungry Campaign

Elected officials are crucial catalysts for the No Kid Hungry campaign. They are in a position to set the direction, convene key decision makers, garner public support, and leverage resources to lead an effective No Kid Hungry campaign.  These resource will help you to make No Kid Hungry a reality in your community.

Learn About Being A No Kid Hungry Campaign 

No Kid Hungry embraces a dynamic model of systematic change to end childhood hunger.  We work through public-private partnerships to define a plan with defined strategies and data-driven goals that increase access for kids to meals offered through federal nutrition programs.

Getting to No Kid Hungry means that kids have access to key federal nutrition programs:

  • School Breakfast Program (SBP)
  • Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)/Seamless Summer Option (SSO)
  • Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) – At-Risk Afterschool Meals
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)

And, families have access to nutrition education programming that enhance their shopping and cooking skills for home meals.

The success of each campaign is measured by reaching the following quantifiable goals:

  • 70% of low-income children participate in the School Breakfast Program
  • 10% of low-income children get a meal through CACFP At-Risk Afterschool
  • Significant increase in meals served to children through the summer meals programs
  • All eligible families with children participate in SNAP
  • As many eligible mothers and children as possible participate in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
  • Meaningful number of low-income mothers with children aged 0-5 attend food skills education programs

Community Readiness
Based on our experience from launching No Kid Hungry campaigns around the country, Share Our Strength has identified four key traits that are critical to activating a successful No Kid Hungry campaign:

Strong Lead Partner
Lead partners drive the No Kid Hungry campaign in a community. They are responsible for activities that connect, support, convene and hold cross-sector partners accountable to the goals of No Kid Hungry. A strong lead partner has wide reach across a community, strong ties to state agencies, the capacity to support diverse program, advocacy and awareness efforts, ability to deliver data-driven results and successfully fundraise.

Steady Funding Stream
It takes a considerable investment from both public and private interests to incentivize and implement systematic changes that ensure all children have access to the federal nutrition programs. Financial investment from diverse sectors, like corporate or business partners, individuals, and State appropriations of government funds are needed to support the variety of hunger alleviation, education and awareness efforts required to end childhood hunger.

Active Executive-Level Government Support
Governors, mayor, their spouses, and other elected officials have the influence to bring people to the table and encourage agencies to take action in support of ending childhood hunger. Successful campaigns have active engagement between executive-level champions in government and lead partners to support the cause.

Solid Agency Support
State agencies are responsible for operating the federal nutrition programs. State agency leaders who set a vision for program expansion and improvement, collaborate with stakeholders to achieve the vision, and have strong data systems to track progress have been able to make great strides in feeding more kids.

Launch A No Kid Hungry Campaign

Launching a successful No Kid Hungry campaign requires the leadership of elected officials to coordinate efforts with state agencies and key stakeholders in support of a shared plan with measurable goals, dedicate staff and resources to support day-to-day campaign activities. Use these resources and examples to launch a No Kid Hungry Campaign in your community.

Convene a taskforce or partnership of key stakeholders from public and private sectors to devise a plan with measureable goals, milestones, and a timeline

No Kid Hungry campaigns involve a partnership between the office of an elected official, like a governor or a mayor, Share Our Strength and a community-based nonprofit organization. Governors in Colorado, Virginia and Nevada formalized the partnership through executive orders. In Colorado, Governor John Hickenlooper issued an executive order pledging support for the No Kid Hungry Colorado campaign. In Virginia and Nevada, Governors Terry McAuliffe and Brian Sandoval signed executive orders establishing councils to address increasing participation in the federal nutrition programs. The Commonwealth Council on Bridging the Nutritional Divide in Virginia and the Governor’s Council on Food Security in Nevada are chaired by the First Lady of each state respectively and include members from state agencies, national and local nonprofits, and private businesses. In Baltimore, Maryland, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake allocated funding and staff to address issues of food access and hunger as a focus of her initiative to strengthen neighborhoods.

Assign high-level staff to serve as liaison to the campaign

The success of a No Kid Hungry campaign requires the dedication of high level staff in a governor’s or mayor’s office to coordinate communication with state agencies and other key stakeholders, support the day-to-day activities of the campaign, and to monitor progress toward goals. In Maryland, under Governor Martin O’Malley, the Executive Director for the Governor’s Office for Children served as the liaison to the Governor’s office for the campaign. No Kid Hungry Virginia is supported by the Chief of Staff for the First Lady, a No Kid Hungry Campaign Program Manager housed in the Governor’s office and staff who work out of the State departments of Education and Health. In Montana, the No Kid Hungry Campaign Director is an employee of the state Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) and is in direct communication with Governor Bullock and the First Lady Lisa about the progress of the campaign.

Establish a process to regularly review data with key stakeholders, including government agencies, in order to monitor process, address concerns, and hold stakeholder publicly accountable to the goals

To track progress toward ending childhood hunger, elected officials should regularly request data on participation in the Federal nutrition programs from state agencies and share it with key stakeholders. During his term, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley made it a priority of his Administration to end childhood hunger and regularly tracked progress toward that goal. He worked with the Partnership to End Childhood Hunger in Maryland and the No Kid Hungry campaign to make data on food and nutrition programs publically accessible through StateStat, a performance measurement and management tool. He also convened agency staff for open conversations with cabinet members and partners about successes, barriers to progress, and resource needs. These meetings - led by the Governor – were key to keeping partners accountable towards shared goals and addressing challenges.

Identify public and private resources to support No Kid Hungry Campaign activities

Some elected officials have helped raise the financial resources necessary to successfully achieve the goals of No Kid Hungry. To support the Commonwealth Council on Bridging the Nutritional Divide, Governor McAuliffe and the First Lady raised funding from private sector partners to hire staff and secured a grant from the USDA for a demonstration pilot to test innovative practices aligned with the goals of the campaign. In Montana, Governor Bullock and First Lady Lisa Bullock launch Round It Up Montana in partnership with the Montana retail and restaurant associations and Prostart to encourage customers to round up their bill to the nearest dollar to support No Kid Hungry. Additionally, the Montana Commission on Community Service awarded the campaign $65,000 to hire AmeriCorps members to expand the reach of the campaign in five communities.

Raise the visibility of the campaign by publically celebrating successes and honoring outstanding efforts

Elected officials can continue to raise support for ending childhood hunger by publically participating in programs and celebrating the work of constituents. In Maryland, Representative John Sarbanes helped to promote the summer meals programs by speaking at public kick-off events. In Montana, Governor Bullock is helping to grow the next generation of civically responsible adults by inviting middle school students who raise funding for No Kid Hungry to the Governor’s mansion as a way to say thank you.

Take Steps To Sustain The Campaign

Ending childhood hunger takes time. It is critical to sustain the energy and enthusiasm of the campaign in order to continue to have the support and resources necessary to reach no kid hungry. Sustaining the momentum of the campaign requires continuous efforts to:

Raise Awareness

Talk about the campaign publicly and regularly. Let your constituents know about the need, and encourage them to get involved by advocating for priority initiatives, volunteering for the campaign or donating to the campaign.

Share Credit Widely

Recognize all of the stakeholders involved with the Campaign, from state legislators to school cafeteria managers. Publically award schools that are making significant progress in feeding students school breakfast. Visit a summer meals site and thank staff for bearing the weather to make sure kids are fed. Sign a resolution recognizing key champions leading change in their communities.

Be Willing to Pivot Strategies

Figure out what works, figure out why it worked and build upon it. Conversely, if something is not working, stop doing it. Understand why it’s not working and adjust your strategies to address the problems.

Set Milestones and Celebrate Success

Track your progress and recognize when you have reached milestones along the path to your end goals. Letting your partners know how much you appreciate their work will go a long way towards building trust and sustaining their long-term commitment and energy.