School Meal Marketing Podcast
By Dunk Tank Marketing
School Meal Marketing PodcastDec 01, 2023
Jennifer McNeil of LunchAssist: Season 1, Episode 5
I am thrilled to be joined by Jenifer McNeil, founder of LunchAssist, and one of the most inspiring and uplifting people I’ve met in the world of School Nutrition.
LunchAssist is an invaluable resource for hundreds of school nutrition programs, empowering directors, supervisors, and frontline staff alike with resources that make things like training and compliance easier AND more meaningful, which in turn empowers teams to give more focus to the children and families they serve.
Jen and I recorded this episode at the California School Nutrition Conference in Palm Springs in late October 2023. Our initial plan was to be very southern California and record it poolside, but the background music was a bit much, so we just found a quiet spot outside the convention center and had a great talk.
You’ll also hear us talk about the California Farm 2 School Conference which was held just before the CA School Nutrition conference, and those events, back to back, made for an incredible week of learning, being inspired, and connecting with amazing people.
Season 1, Episode 4: Chef Patrick Garmong of the Institute of Child Nutrition
The guest for this episode is Chef Patrick Garmong, the Associate Director of Culinary Education and Training with the Institute of Child Nutrition. He’s also the host of The Mixup, an iBites Podcast that I highly recommend.
Chef Patrick has a rich career history in food service. He trained at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, has been an Executive Chef in restaurant, catering, and educational settings, and served for five years as the Child Nutrition Director for the Ellensburg School District in Washington state.
We had a wide-ranging talk about the amazing resources that the Institute provides at no cost for schools across the country, as well as Chef Patrick’s career path and why school nutrition is a great and too often overlooked path for culinary professionals.
And if you watch the TV show The Bear, we also touch on that and the changing culture of food service.
Season 1, Episode 3: Amy Haessly on Building & Sustaining a Farm 2 School Program
Amy Haessly is the Director of Child Nutrition for Fallbrook Union Elementary School District in Fallbrook, California. Amy is one of the first people I met in the world of school nutrition and we’ve worked together in some form or fashion for most of the past decade.
Amy was a catalyst for starting the robust Farm 2 School program for Vista Unified’s WaveCrest Cafe, and she’s doing similar things in Fallbrook. We talk about the lessons she’s learned about starting, growing, and sustaining Farm to School programs. We also talk about creating stories about food that are memorable, as well as turning skeptical students and parents into advocates and champions for school food.
Amy’s insight and enthusiasm for school nutrition are infectious and inspiring, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy this conversation on the School Meal Marketing podcast.
Mini-Episode: 3 Steps to Market Your School Meal Program
This mini-episode outlines three steps you can, and should, take to market your program. Whether you’ve been marketing your program, you’re starting out, or you’re starting over, these steps will provide a framework for you and your team to stop wishing you were doing it and start actually doing it.
STEP ONE: Determine your core message
STEP TWO: Identify the ways you’re delivering on that core message
STEP THREE: Repeat & Stay On Message
The steps are easy. The challenge, as with anything, is executing. So take that first step. Practice it. Make mistakes, Learn from them, and take another step.
But whatever you do: Don't wait to start marketing your school meal program.
If you want to learn how Dunk Tank Marketing can help you, Schedule a FREE consultation to see how we can help boost your school meal program.
Episode 1: Missy Poirier on change management, collaboration, and why school nutrition staff are so vital to serving kids.
Missy Poirier is the Director of Nutrition Services for Jurupa Unified School District, a K-12 district in Riverside County, California. I heard Missy on the iBites podcast and immediately got in touch to talk, as she shared so many things that struck a chord with me and that I wanted to share.
We get into a wide range of topics, including how she implemented changes with her team - which is no small thing to do anywhere - how school cafeterias are the most regulated restaurants around, we coin the term “sneaky scratch” to talk about an approach to introduce scratch cooking, and reinforce the meaningfulness of child nutrition professionals in the lives of children.
It’s a fun ride and I hope you enjoy this conversation.
NOTES & LINKS
• Recipes from Missy's collaboration event
Season 1 Teaser & Intro
For more than a decade we’ve worked with school nutrition programs to help tell their stories, boosting participation, engagement, and awareness of the amazing work that happened each and every day in schools across the country.
And now we’re sharing more of those stories with you on the School Meal Marketing podcast. We believe that everything can be marketing, from your visual branding to the way you talk about your program. It also encompasses things like where your food comes from, how your staff is equipped and empowered to serve children, and even how you navigate challenges.