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Students Help Promote Summer Meals Programs

Students from Franklin, Harnett and Union County Schools received top honors Wednesday in the North Carolina Summer Nutrition Programs promotional materials contest, in which students design promotional materials to help increase the awareness of N.C. Summer Nutrition Programs.

Student promotional materials contest winners were recognized at the opening session of the School Nutrition Association of North Carolina Annual Conference.

The N.C. Summer Nutrition Programs, administered by NCDPI School Nutrition Services, provide meals at no cost to children and teens, ages 18 and younger, at almost 3,000 locations statewide during the summer months. Last summer, more than 5.2 million meals were served to children and teens through these programs, yet only 12 of every 100 eligible children benefited. Part of the challenge is lack of awareness about the meal program.

“The state’s Summer Nutrition Programs provide a critical service to students who may go hungry when school is out. Raising awareness of these programs is key to reaching students who need summer meals,” said Cynthia Ervin, N.C. Summer Nutrition Programs manager. “What better way to reach students than to have students create promotional materials. Students listen to their peers and know what messages will resonate with them,” she said.

For the contest, students in grades 6-12 were encouraged to design and submit promotional content such as a theme song, jingle, rap, dance, skit, public service announcement or other animated creation to help get children and teens excited about meeting up to eat up, enjoy physical activity, learn and have fun through N.C. Summer Nutrition Programs. Only one entry per student or student group was allowed. Submissions were required to be original and created completely by the students. Award recipients were:

First Place: Snap Chat

Student – Sean Stanley

Teacher/Adviser – Joe Dennis

Porter Ridge High (Union County Schools)

Runner-Up: Rap

Students – Kaleb Beckstrand, Thomas Faulkner

Teacher/Adviser – Valerie Hawthorne

Franklinton Middle (Franklin County Schools)

Runner-Up: Dance

Students – Jahdea Beard, Tanayzha Elliott, Jamia Harrington, Brooke McKinney, Melasha Smith, (accompanied by the Harnett Central High School Nutrition Team)

Teacher/Adviser – Sara Williamson, Career Development Coordinator

Harnett Central High (Harnett County Schools)

Runner-Up: PSA

Students – Ashlyn Bennett, Elijah Cornelius, Geysa Hernandez, Harper Howell, Kendall Gleaton, Brooke McKinney, Cameron McKinney, Margarita Plancarte, Donovan Silfies

Teacher/Adviser – Sara Williamson, Career Development Coordinator

Harnett Central High (Harnett County Schools)

In addition to their recognition this week at the School Nutrition Association of North Carolina’s annual  conference, the students will be honored also during the North Carolina School Nutrition Administrators Conference in October. The Dairy Alliance provided gift cards as awards to the winning entries.

Follow this link to a playlist that features all the winning entries.

The NCDPI, School Nutrition Services Section administers the Summer Nutrition Programs with federal funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For questions regarding N.C. Summer Nutrition Programs or the promotional materials contest, contact NCDPI Summer Nutrition Programs Manager Cynthia Ervin.

USDA and NCDPI are equal opportunity providers and employers. Additional information regarding School Nutrition Programs in North Carolina can be found on the School Nutrition Services website.

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