The New York City Department of Education serves over 700,000 free meals to children every day during the school year. These meals, which include breakfast and lunch, are vital to families struggling to keep their children fed and healthy. But what happens when school lets out for the summer?
Many eligible families don’t know about the federally funded Summer Meals Program offered across the city. This crucial resource provides free, nutritious breakfasts and lunches to children 18 and younger at convenient sites across the city – with the added benefit of seven-day services and four mobile food trucks.
According to the Food Bank of New York City’s 2013 Hunger Safety Net Report, two-thirds of parents participating in the city’s emergency food programs don’t take advantage of Summer Meals because they are unaware of its existence or haven’t received details from schools about where and when to take their kids to be fed. That’s why my volunteers and staff visited over 80 schools this week to distribute information about the Summer Meals program to parents and educators.
The Summer Meals program runs from June 27 – September 4 at participating schools, pools, parks, libraries and NYCHA locations across New York City. If you live in Manhattan and your children are eligible to receive free Summer Meals, there are several ways to find a location near you…