Hunger Solutions New York announces that this summer, kids and teens ages 18 and under can get free, healthy meals at sites across the state through USDA’s Summer Food Service Program. Most sites are “open” sites, where there is no sign-up or paperwork required; kids can just drop by when meals are served.

Starting in early July, families can use the following tools to find nearby sites:

Text “food” to 304-304
Use the map on SummerMealsNY.org
Call 211 or 311 (in NYC), or 1-866-3-HUNGRY

Please note: the texting hotline and the online map will not be fully populated until early July.

Local sponsors and sites may be able to provide their site information earlier than it will be available on national and statewide site finder tools. Please encourage families to make use of our directory to find their local sponsors.

You can help spread the word about summer meals using the free, easy-to-use resources on SummerMealsNY.org, including flyers in English and Spanish, sample social media posts, graphics you can add to your website and e-news, and more.

Key things to know about summer meals this year:

For Summer 2023, most sites have returned to in-person meal service, with kids eating together on site rather than picking up grab-and-go meals, given that USDA waivers expired last year. However, a new, permanent flexibility has allowed some rural sponsors and sites to continue to provide grab-and-go meals. Local sponsors and sites can provide the most up-to-date information about their meal service. Starting in early July, you can find a statewide list of sites and sponsors, including their contact information, on SummerMealsNY.org.
Hunger Solutions New York will continue to be a resource as we learn more about how summer meal sites are operating throughout the state, especially in rural areas taking advantage of the new flexibility. We look forward to learning and sharing best practices from this summer’s implementation.

You can help families connect with additional nutrition resources:

• SNAP is the state’s largest nutrition assistance program, helping more than 2.9 million New Yorkers put food on their tables. SNAP provides monthly benefits to spend at local grocery stores and farmers’ markets. Visit FoodHelpNY.org to connect families to their local Nutrition Outreach and Education Program (NOEP), which provides free and confidential SNAP prescreening and application assistance.
• WIC provides pregnant women, new and breastfeeding moms, and children under age five with healthy food, breastfeeding support, nutrition education, and referrals to other helpful services. Families can “chat with Wanda”—WIC’s 24/7 virtual assistant—to learn if they qualify for WIC and to connect with a local WIC office. Visit WICHelpNY.org to learn more and find WIC outreach resources at the WIC Help New York Resource Center.

Thank you to the many summer meal sponsors, sites, state and federal agencies, and community partners working to ensure kids are well-nourished this summer and beyond.

Questions? Email Cody Bloomfield, Afterschool and Summer Meals Specialist at Cody.Bloomfield@HungerSolutionsNY.org.