The power of distribution: free school lunch in the summer

Food Truck in a School Bus

School’s out for the summer, but it’s not always a happy time for kids.  For students participating in the federal free and reduced lunch program, summer time can mean going hungry.  Many schools continue to offer subsidies meals during the summer, but not all students can trek to school during the summer when buses are no longer running.

Some schools districts are now putting two and two together for a low-cost solution to this distribution problem: use school buses to take food to students on summer break.

Distribution is a pillar of marketing, and when you’re working in public and social services like combating hunger, distribution means making sure your audience can access your services.

Aside from making sure kids get fed, the program also helps parents stretch tight food budgets. When kids can’t make it to schools or community centers for meals in the summer time, then family food costs increase or kids go without.

As described in this NPR story, about 21 million students nationwide eat free and reduced school meals. (That’s about six percent of the total national population, which is a shocking statistic all by itself.) School districts also often have to stretch tight budgets, so using existing vehicles to deliver free meals reduces the capital investment needed for distribution.

Distribution can often be an overlooked cost, and overlooked opportunity. Are there news or different ways that you can have more impact simply by changing how you distribute the products or services that you already offer?

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