July School Wellness Newsletter

School Wellness

Filling the Gap with Summer Meals

summer meals

The USDA Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) was established to fill the gap when children lose access to meals when schools are closed. Most often this occurs during summer vacation. However, during school closures related to the pandemic, meals are also being made available. In an effort to maintain social distancing, USDA has made temporary changes that allow parents or guardians to pick up meals and take them home for their children. Organizations have come up with creative ways to make these nutritious meals available in your community through grab and go curbside pickup, providing meals for multiple days at one time, and some including “take and bake” options, and weekend meals.

You can find a meal site in your area via three easy options:

  • Text “Food” or “Comida” to 877-877
  • Call 2-1-1, 1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479)
  • 1-877-8-HAMBRE (1-877-842-6273) (for Spanish)
  • Visit https://www.fns.usda.gov/meals4kids

Take the stress out of providing nutritious meals and snacks to your children by participating at a site near you!  Spread the word to family, friends, and neighbors!

Iowa Department of Education - SFSP Helps Meet Student Nutritional Needs During Pandemic

ISU Extension and Outreach - Filling the Gap Blog

Return to Learn Modules

DE logo

The Iowa Department of Education has developed a series of modules for leadership teams located on the Iowa Return-to-Learn Support page. The use of these modules is optional.

The health and safety of Iowa’s teachers, staff, students, and families are first and foremost in planning for the 2020-2021 school year. The Health and Safety Module provides considerations, prioritization, and action steps for districts to futher develop and implement their Return to Learn Plan:

Moving More at Home

Moving at Home

Physical activity breaks throughout the day help reduce stress and anxiety, boost the immune system, improve sleep, and support our physical and mental health.

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation and Kohl's recently released Moving More at Home: a collection of free, home-based activities, tools, and videos you can share with students and parents to make moving more at home easy and fun for the whole family.

From customizable family adventures to indoor scavenger huntsMoving More at Home will help you integrate quick and easy physical activity breaks into your daily routine so you can move more and feel better!

8 Dimensions of Wellness Challenge

Find Your SMile

Hy-Vee KidsFit wants you to find your smile! Health and wellness is about so much more than just moving your body and eating right, so they have created 8 Dimensions of Wellness Challenges so you can shine in all areas of health and wellness!

  • Physical Wellness - DIY Obstacle Course
  • Social Wellness - At Home Restaurant
  • Spiritual Wellness - Nature Walk
  • Environmental Wellness - Plant a Vegetable
  • Intellectual Wellness - Build Your Own Tower
  • Emotional Wellness - 7 Days of Gratitude
  • Financial Wellness - Save, Spend, & Donate
  • Career Wellness - When I Grow Up...

SWITCH Things Up at Your School


SWITCH is an innovative school wellness initiative designed to support and enhance school wellness programming. Through SWITCH, schools can help student to "Switch what they Do, View, and Chew!" SWITCH is managed by an interdisciplinary research team in partnership with the 4-H Youth Development Program through Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Schools are provided with resources, training and support, but have autonomy to run programming in ways that best fit their unique needs and goals. If your school is new to SWITCH and interested in participating for the 2020-21 school year, please complete this short interest form.
Questions? Contact Rachel Sweeney at rsweeney@iastate.edu.

Health and Physical Education Resources

Continue to check national and state organizations for updated resources and learning opportunities. 

National Society for Health and Physical Education (SHAPE) America

Iowa Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (IAHPERD)

Institute of Child Nutrition Food Safety Trainings


Join the Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN) for a series of free, live, virtual instructor-led food safety trainings to provide Child Nutrition Professionals!

Training dates and registration are available: https://theicn.org/vilt/

Topics include:

  • Food Allergies for School Nutrition Managers & Staff (4 hours)
  • Food Safety Basics (4 hours)
  • Norovirus for Schools (2 hours)
  • Norovirus for Child Care (2 hours)
  • Food Safety in Child Care (4 hours)

These training sessions are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis with limited slots available. Please note that these food safety trainings are also available as online courses and are available via the ICN’s eLearning portal.

July Feature