Summer is one of the hungriest times of the year for low income kids and families. While summer meal programs aim to alleviate this, only 15% of children who qualify for free or reduced-price meals at school also receive meals during the summer months.
Funded by the USDA, summer meals are served by organizations like schools, libraries, faith-based organizations, and community groups, who all help make sure that kids under age 18 have access to nutritious meals at no cost when school is out of session.
To find a summer meals site near you, text FOOD to 877-877, call 211, or visit MDsummermeals.org. No registration or identification required.
Benefits of Summer Meals
- Summer Meals Keep Kids Learning: Nutritious food not only supports better cognitive functioning in the summer, it also positions children from low-income families to learn and perform well once they return to the classroom.
- Summer Meals Keep Kids Healthy: With access to nutritious summer meals, children from low-income families are less likely to suffer from food insecurity and are less likely to resort to less healthy, but easily accessible, food options associated with obesity.
- Summer Meals Keep Kids Safe: Summer meals sites provide a safe area for kids to interact with peers and participate in group activities.
Sites are eligible to serve summer meals when at least half of the community’s students are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.
Need help figuring out if a summer meal site or day care home is eligible according to USDA policy? Use No Kid Hungry’s Averaged Eligibility Map!