Nutritional Development Services
The mission of Nutritional Development Services (NDS) is to provide meals, food assistance and additional support to organizations serving children and the poor as an extension of the service and mission of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia. During the school year, NDS works with several local schools to ensure that their students have access to food for breakfast and lunch. Over the summer, NDS provides meals at no cost to low-income children in the Philadelphia area who otherwise may not have adequate access to healthy foods from June to August each year.
The Fox Fellows’ responsibilities will provide a fast-paced introduction to the day-to-day operation of a federally-funded Child Nutrition Program during the summer fellowship. Mornings will fly by in a whirlwind of phone calls from site supervisors, while afternoons will be spent following up on issues and working on their special project(s). The Fox Fellows will assist site supervisors who call the office with questions or problems; provide on-site and over-the-phone training and technical assistance to site supervisors; assist with site supervisor training meetings; review, consolidate and process paperwork submitted by sites and monitors accounting for meals served each day; and complete one or two special projects (see project descriptions below). These are the daily, primary responsibilities in conjunction with their long-term project(s). Fellows will experience the operational and regulatory requirements of sponsoring a federally-funded Child Nutrition Program, have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the nutritional needs of low-income children, and could receive a letter of recommendation upon successful completion of the Fellowship. The three Fox Fellows will work collaboratively and/or individually on four projects:
- Project 1: Design a bi-weekly Summer Splash newsletter
Description: Research and create a bi-weekly newsletter to distribute to our summer sites. Include information such as pictures of summer meals and events, compliance reminders, interviews with summer site staff, age-appropriate nutrition topics, low-cost fitness programming ideas, food safety tips, news and other program updates, and links to online resources. This project is ideal for someone who is interested in communications and has a creative side.
- Project 2: Design back of school lunch menus for 2022 - 2023 school year
Description: NDS creates a two-sided menu each month for Elementary, Middle and High School lunch. The front lists the daily meal offering and the back has a child-friendly nutrition education theme. This project is ideal for someone who is interested in nutrition for children and has a creative side. The student should be skilled in Microsoft Word and/or Publisher. The student will work with the staff dietitian to decide on topics.
- Project 3: Solicit and analyze menu feedback
Description: We have many new items on the menu each summer, and we would like feedback from our sites to see how the children are enjoying these items. The Fellow will design questions and analyze the results. The student will receive training for Blackboard Messaging Service, which will be used to send this interactive survey to sites. If the student has any ideas about how we can promote these new foods throughout the summer, this feedback is encouraged and welcomed. This project is ideal for students who are interested in nutrition education and/or marketing. The student will provide feedback to the staff dietitian and staff that develop the menu. The Fellow should start this project as early in the summer as possible in order to solicit feedback throughout the entire program.
- Project 4: Social Media: Promoting Summer Meals via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
Description: Maintain Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts for NDS summer meals daily. Guidance will be provided and the student is encouraged to have ideas. The primary responsibilities will be to post engaging content about the summer meals program to Facebook and Instagram and to hold a social media contest to increase engagement with our Facebook page. One of our goals for this summer is to expand our reach to engage more site supervisors and parents; the student may consider creating a social media handout for sites to distribute. This project is ideal for someone who is interested in communications. Meal photographs and designs may be used for future brochures and marketing materials.
During the school year, NDS works with several local schools to ensure that their students have access to food for breakfast and lunch.
This school year will be unusual in two regards:
- The pandemic has forced the creation of new and different policies/procedures for the National School Lunch Program.
- NDS will be receiving an Administrative Review by the PA Department of Education, which occurs every three years.
During the semester, a Fox Fellow will be critical in supporting NDS as they navigate these items. The Fellow will also help to wrap up outstanding projects related to the Summer Meals Program. In addition, the Fox Fellow’s assignments could also include:
- Developing wellness policy resources, messaging for schools and families about healthy meals
- Administrative Review preparation
- Digital training tools for school meals managers
- Blog posts and other social media efforts promoting school lunch and breakfast
- Tasks related to the annual financial audit
- New school year tasks and projects
The Fox Leadership Program hires fellows for NDS during the fall semester, the spring semester and over the summer. Application deadlines for each specific time period are outlined below.
- Fall Semester: August 19
- Spring Semester: November 21
- Summer: Applications accepted on a rolling basis
Interested Penn undergraduate students should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a resume and a cover letter specifying your interest in this fellowship. Since applications are accepted on a rolling basis, please indicate which term you are applying for in the subject line of the email. In the cover letter, please describe how the Fellowship will help you explore a particular career path and/or develop a specific skill.
Applicants should not contact the organization directly. Please email email@example.com with any questions regarding the fellowships.