Planning a Feeding Program
Why are you setting up this program? What do you hope it will achieve? Though it is tempting to jump right in with food for kids, it is most helpful to sit down as a small steering committee, or even on your own, to think about the goals for this program. First, determine the needs. Appendix B is a Needs Assessment questionnaire. Take time to carefully consider the questions asked. Many people have learned to run great programs because they’ve learned from their mistakes.
This is an opportunity for you to ask the questions they wished they had asked themselves. Set up your committee. As you determine tasks, decide who on the committee is best suited for each task, or find someone to join your committee to help. Make sure you involve your community – especially parents of children who will benefit from your program. It may be difficult to involve them, but it is very helpful.
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Set goals and an action plan. Maybe your long term goal is that no child in your community is going hungry.
What would be a good set of goals for this school year – perhaps to find four other parents who will volunteer with you, to provide snacks to the kindergarten class each morning, and to get three grocery stores to donate food to your program. Now, how will you plan to achieve each of these goals? Remember that your goals should be specific, measurable, realistic, and written down. This leads to success and helps you to evaluate your progress. Make sure that the concerns of each committee member are addressed in your goals.
You should review your goals and update them periodically, celebrating the successes, and analyzing the failures so that you can succeed next time. Taking time to set up a plan of action will save you time in the end, and get you where you want to go. Make a list of all the steps you need to take, all the resources you need, and contacts who might be able to help your program. Organize your list in terms of priority and in the order that things need to be done. Delegate tasks. Appendix C is a checklist of things to consider before beginning a feeding program.