Lessons Learned 

The No Kid Hungry and SBHA Learning Network Stakeholder Final report comprises eight key informant interviews with SBHC learning network participants, two focus groups with state and youth stakeholders, and a School-Based Health Alliance State Affiliate Leaders survey. Participants remarked on the economic and social barriers to sustainable programming that addresses food insecurity in SBHC settings. Key themes, lessons learned and recommendations emerged as relevant for future projects and funding and are summarized below.

Themes & Recommendations
Key Takeaways
Individualization of approach 
Due to variations in funding and structural systems, efforts should be individualized  and localized to meet the needs of communities. State-level stakeholders or third-party entities can support needs assessments within targeted communities or geographical areas. Completing a needs assessment will reveal specifics that can inform a customized approach.


A realistic timeline for growth & expansion 



Implement a realistic or expanded timeline that accounts for summer interruptions or the development of foundational internal infrastructure that supports program development or expansion. 


Dedicated staffing 



Acknowledge and support solutions for adequate and dedicated staffing to support program activities, including day-to-day activities, community outreach, and building community partnerships.


Stigma reduction 



Provide resources and strategies for reducing stigmas and increasing awareness around food insecurity that prevent families and students from accessing services. Additionally, leverage parent-teacher organizations (PTOs) through funding and support the implementation of larger marketing programs to introduce students and families to the new food programs and increase community buy-in.  
Policy Advocacy 
Provide advocacy for universal free lunch, removal of barriers around utilizing EBT or SNAP, state-level subsidies to farmers, increased minimum wage, addressing food availability and access within healthcare initiatives, and addressing inconsistencies in federal, state, and community-level funding and policy efforts.


State-level support  



State-level stakeholders help develop and expand food security and nutrition education programming and assist with sharing resources and experiences by assisting with funding, policy, peer learning, coalition building, or structural efforts. State-level stakeholders can better support individualized responses that meet the needs of each community until larger policy changes can occur regarding food insecurity.    

Training for Staff on new processes for screening, referrals or food intervention is essential for success. Build staff buy in and understanding of the importance.

Food Insecurity screening using Electronic Health Record (EHR) is replicable in almost any center. Most EHRs have systems already in place for this

Partnerships are essential to successful implementation. Engage partners early. Communicate and set clear expectations.

Flexibility and patience. Partnerships and implementation takes longer than expected. Must be flexible to adjust to community needs and feedback. Get input from a variety of stakeholders

Creating solutions that meet local needs and capacity. Survey families and partners and explore what already exists and what the barriers may be to participation. Attempt to mitigate obstacles in the planning process.

Provide wraparound support with cooking/nutrition classes to enhance your food program. 

Plan for staffing or volunteer support that will be needed.  Backup/contingency plans.   

Incorporate Food Insecurity screening into your Center workflow 

Ask students and families if they are participating in food programs 

Provide flyers to all families about food resources available 

Identify other food resources available in your community  

Partner with local nutrition education resources