DOE Kicks Off Annual Summer Meals Program For Kids Across NYC

June 15, 2016

Schools Chancellor Carmen FariñaChancellor Fariña today announced that the 2016 Summer Meals program will run from June 29 to September 2 at nearly 1,100 sites across New York City, providing free, healthy breakfast and lunch to millions of children over the summer.

Anyone 18 years old and younger is eligible to receive a meal, and participation does not require any form of identification or application. Sites stretch across all five boroughs at various locations, including schools, parks, pools, libraries, and NYCHA facilities.

The DOE also launched a new expanded advertising campaign in collaboration with the New York State Department of Education to promote Summer Meals and ensure families across the City are aware of this incredible program. The campaign features new branding and designs in English and Spanish that will appear in ads on subways and bus shelters; in community, ethnic and online news outlets; and will also be displayed on the outside of the food trucks that will be providing meals at various locations. Volunteers from partner organizations will also go door to door and hand out flyers in 10 languages to spread awareness of the program.

“This critical program provides free meals during the summer months to ensure students are prepared to start the school year healthy and ready to learn,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Eating healthy meals for breakfast and lunch is essential to a child’s development, and the Summer Meals program will ensure that children can easily access these important meals during the summer.”

This year’s menu features bagels, an egg and cheese sandwich, and yogurt and granola for breakfast; as well as pizza, hamburgers, deli sandwiches and antibiotic-free roasted chicken for lunch; and will introduce new items including BBQ roasted chicken, grilled chicken pasta salad, and fruit juice ices. As part of the DOE’s larger NY Thursdays initiative, the yogurt and apples provided on Thursdays are all locally sourced. Daily menus and location details are available on the SchoolFood app.

“We encourage all children across New York city to participate in the program and take advantage of the free breakfast and lunch that’s available over the summer,” said Deputy Chancellor Elizabeth Rose. “The Summer Meals program is an easily accessible resource for families to provide nutritious meals to children.”

In 2015, 8.2 million meals were served, a significant increase from the 7.1 million meals served in the summer of 2012. The annual cost of the program is approximately $7 million. The nutritious meals meet and exceed the U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrition Standards for School Meals.

“The Summer Meals menu offers nutritious and high-quality breakfast and lunch options to children across the City,” said Eric Goldstein, CEO of the Office of School Support Services, which oversees SchoolFood. “Having access to healthy meals is critical and the expansion of this year’s campaign will increase awareness and encourage more families to participate.”

“Thanks to this great program, families across New York City can be sure their kids get healthy meals all summer long, so they can enjoy food, friends and fun,” said Megan Cryan, New York Director, No Kid Hungry Campaign.

“Nationwide, only one in six low-income kids who received a free school lunch during the school year accessed a summer nutrition program like Summer Meals in 2014,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “This federally-funded program is a win-win, but outreach is critical: we have to get the word out, so New York City families know when, where, and how to access free summer meals for their kids this summer.”

“The summer meals program is vital to the well-being of children who come from low-income families,” said NYC Council Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm. “Far too many of our young people fall victim to food insecurity. These free, healthy meals bring us closer to eliminating hunger in our City once and for all. I am proud to support this program and will continue to work alongside the Chancellor to expand it.”

Summer Meals are available from Monday to Friday, with breakfast served from 8:00am to 9:15am and lunch served from 11:00am to 1:15pm.

To learn more, find a nearby Summer Meals location, and access daily menus: Check the SchoolFood app or visit the SchoolFood:, Call 311 or visit the 311 website:, visit the Share Our Strength: and/or Text “nycmeals” to 877-877

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