Schools Chancellor Walcott, NYC Agencies & Non-Profit Groups Announce Outreach Initiatives to Promote Free Summer Meals for Youth 18 and Younger

Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott, joined by City agencies and non-profit organizations, today announced outreach initiatives to notify families with children 18 years old and younger about the City’s annual summer meals program, which provides nutritious and tasty meals at no charge.

Summer meals are available now through Friday, September 2 at more than 1,000 locations, including pools, schools, libraries, parks, public housing sites, and soup kitchens throughout the five boroughs.   Breakfast is served from 8:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. and lunch is served from 11:00 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.                                                                                               

This summer’s menu includes many long-time favorites such as pancakes, scrambled eggs, bagels with cream cheese, yogurt, barbecue-roasted chicken, whole grain pasta, crunchy carrots, “confetti” corn salad, chicken tenders salad, and a cold vegetable stew with zucchini, corn, tomato, and basil. All the meals provided are low in fat, low in sodium, and prepared without artificial colors or sweeteners.

“The outreach initiatives are part of the City’s ongoing commitment to feed our children nutritious meals year-round,” Chancellor Walcott said. “We have galvanized more than a dozen City agencies and nonprofits such as Share Our Strength to distribute information throughout the five boroughs to let families know free meals are available for their children. This is a great deal, a nutritious breakfast and lunch every day during the summer, and the meals are free.”

This initiatives includes “A Day of Outreach” scheduled for July 16 where volunteers will distribute postcards, posters and information about summer meals in key locations across the city such as playgrounds, community centers and laundromats.

The City is coordinating outreach efforts with various nonprofits, including Share Our Strength, a national organization that combats childhood hunger, City Harvest, Food Bank, New York City Coalition Against Hunger, and Citizens Committee for Children to notify as many families as possible about free meals for their children.

“Children do not need to be enrolled in summer school to participate in the summer meals program, no application is required, and meals are available at any of the unrestricted sites, regardless of where a child lives,” said Deputy Chancellor of Operations Kathleen Grimm. The Department’s summer meals program, which is administered by the Office of SchoolFood, has been operating for more than 30 years. Roughly 7 million meals are served each summer.

“The City is working hard in a coordinated effort to promote this excellent program that provides access to healthy and nutritious meals to all of our City’s children,” said the Mayor’s Food Policy Coordinator Kimberly Kessler. “Because of this program – all children, at no cost – can enjoy delicious meals that meet the City’s nutrition standards.”

Attached is a list of some Brooklyn locations where free meals are available. For more information, contact Natalie Ravitz or Marge Feinberg  at (212) 374-5141.