In New York State:
1.6 million students
qualify to eat school meals for free or at a reduced-price.
Less than 300,000 children
have access to summer nutrition programs.
Children who eat healthy and stay active during the summer remember more of what they learned in school and are better prepared when they go back in the fall.
You can help grow summer meals:
Partner with and promote summer meals program
Partner with a sponsor near you to:
- Promote summer meals to your community through your website/social media channels and distribute printed materials to help families find nearby summer meals
- Bring fun activities to meal sites.
Click here to get a list of meal sites
- Volunteer to deliver or serve meals
Promote summer meals with these:
- Summer Meals Button Graphics
- Sample Email/Texting and Social Media Alerts
- Flyers and Pocketcards (English front/Spanish reverse—contact us for bulk orders):
Help bring new sites in your community
Many communities with children at risk for hunger can help by increasing
- the amount of locations serving summer meals, and/or
- the number of weeks summer meals are served.
All sites are connected to and trained by a supervising sponsoring organization that provides the meals.
- Popular sites like schools, parks, congregations, public pools, community centers, and camps
- Other potential sites like housing communities, libraries, YMCAs, farmers markets, medical centers, summer recreation programs, Boys & Girls Clubs, and museums
How to help:
1. Learn more about the summer meals program:
2. Share this information with places and programs that could add summer meals:
3. Identify eligible sites and potential partners with the Capacity Builder Mapper
Use the map below to:
- Check site eligibility of a specific location
- Locate potential community partners
- Find and compare summer meals sites from current and previous summer, and
- Identify local community resources
To use the map:
- Click “Find Address or Place” in the black search bar at the top of the map
- Enter an address, city, county, state, and/or zip code
- Click on the “Layers” button
- Click “FY18 FNS CACFP SFSP Eligibility” to determine nearby eligible areas. More locations may be eligible based on nearby school data; contact us to learn more.
- Click any other locations of interest in the layers list
- Click on any layering icon for more information
This map is created and administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A full-screen version is available here.
Serve summer meals
Do you have a location or program that serves youth in the summer? Summer meals are allowed to be served at places where at least half of children are eligible for free or reduced price school meals. There are three ways locations may be approved to serve summer meals:
- as an “open” site
- as an “enrolled” site, or
- as a “camp” site
Opening a summer meal site under an existing sponsor is easier than you think. Contact us for assistance or reach out to a sponsor in your area. Some criteria that must be answered before starting a new summer meals site are:
1. The location is eligible.
Area eligibility is determined by:
- Geographic areas according to Census data or
- Area eligible school data
Note: If a location is not in an eligible area but has at least half of the children enrolled in a specific program eligible for free or reduced priced school meals, it may also serve summer meals. Please contact us for assistance.
2. The location can follow the basic eligibility requirements:
- Serve meals provided by the sponsor to children 18 years of age and under,
- Safe and sanitary conditions,
- All site staff properly trained at one training session and an adequate number of trained staff present during serving time(s),
- Ensure that children eat all meals on site,
- Attend their sponsor’s training session, and
- Other requirements outlined in each sponsor agreement.
Summer Meal Resources
Find additional summer meals resources like reports, tool kits, best practices and more!
Administration and Guidance
- Reaching Rural Areas: Food and Health Network of South Central New York’s report
- Going Mobile to Increase the Reach of Summer Meals