NYC Chancellor Meisha Porter Launches The DOE’s Summer Meal Program

July 2, 2021

Chancellor Meisha Porter today celebrated the Department of Education’s commitment to keeping all New Yorkers from Harlem to Hollis fed this summer.

They will do this through the opening of approximately 400 community meal sites across the city and, starting on Tuesday, July 6, 2021, beginning service to students at all Summer Rising locations.

“Every New Yorker should have access to healthy, nutritious food this summer – no matter who they are or where they live,” said Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter. “Our heroic food service staff continue to show up for their neighbors and I proud that our schools are a partner in the fight against hunger.”

Community meal sites are open to all New Yorkers who need healthy, nutritious, and free meals this summer. Sites are open Monday through Friday, from 9 AM to 1 PM EST, and serve grab-and-go meals at all locations.

Vegetarian meals are available at all locations, and kosher and halal meals are available at select locations across the city.

Additionally, take-home meal kits are available at all locations, options may include: Pizza, 100% beef burgers and fries, Jamaican beef patties, and more.

Community meal sites can be located at, by calling 311, or texting “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 877-877.

Within 24 hours of transitioning to remote learning in March 2020, the Department of Education Office of Food and Nutrition Services (OFNS) moved to serve grab-and-go meals to students and families at hundreds of locations across the city.

Our emergency meal operations expanded in April 2020 to include all New Yorkers and added both kosher and halal locations.

Since then, over 130 million meals have been served to New Yorkers in need of healthy, nutritious meals.

If you are interested in visiting a community meal site, please contact Nathaniel Styer (

“I am thrilled to see that the Grab & Go program my amazing colleagues at DOE’s Office of Food and Nutrition Services have run since the start of the pandemic will continue through this summer at over 400 community sites across the City, while also serving students at all 820 Summer Rising locations,” said Kate MacKenzie, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy. “This is a tremendous accomplishment, and I’d like to commend Chancellor Porter and OFNS Executive Director Chris Tricarico for their tireless efforts to combat hunger throughout what has been an incredibly challenging year!”

“As the Executive Vice-President of Local 372 which represents SchoolFood Employees, I could not be prouder of the tremendous acts of courage that SchoolFood Employees put on full display. SchoolFood Employees set an example of what it means to be a hero/shero during a time when it was needed the most, said Donald Nesbit-Executive Vice-President Local 372. “As the City of NY recovers from COVID-19 it is important that we show the same level of dignity and respect for the people who got us through this crisis.”

“With kids across New York City facing increased food insecurity, the Summer Meals program run by the New York City Department of Education is an essential lifeline to help families put food on the table,” said Rachel Sabella, director of No Kid Hungry New York. “This year, New Yorkers of all ages can pick up meals at schools and pools across the 5 boroughs. We urge families to text NYC FOOD or NYC COMIDA to 877-877 to find a meal site in their own neighborhood.”

“Summer meals are the ultimate win-win. They’re free to anyone under 18. They’re nutritious. They require no paperwork, and they are available for breakfast and lunch at hundreds of locations citywide, so they are easy to get,” said Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America, a national nonprofit based in New York City. “Good nutrition fuels learning and fun for kids over the summer, so we hope they these meals are widely accessed.”

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