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Children who eat healthy during summer remember more of what they learned in school and are better prepared when they go back in the fall.

Summer meal sites include schools, parks, churches, public pools, community centers, camps, housing communities, libraries, YMCAs, farmers’ markets, medical centers, summer recreation programs, Boys & Girls Clubs, and museums.

OVERVIEW

In 2019, 380 summer meals sponsors served healthy meals at nearly 3,000 sites across New York.

More than 287,000 children ate a summer lunch through SFSP on an average day in July 2019.

Still, only 1 in 4 of New York’s low-income children ate summer meals in July 2019.

Promote & Grow Summer Meals

You can help increase the number of children eating summer meals by promoting summer meal sites, recruiting new sites in underserved areas, and supporting local sponsors and sites already operating in your area

Visit our Summer Meals Outreach Resources page where you can find tools to:

  • Promote summer meals to families in your community using our outreach flyers, sample social media posts, and more.
  • Help summer meals grow by recruiting more sites using our flyers for libraries, YMCAs, and other sites in your community.

You can also connect with local sponsors and sites to learn how to best support their efforts. Community partners may be able to volunteer at sites, provide fun activities for kids, or help in other ways. Use these tools to find sponsors and sites in your area:

County-level and statewide participation data, best practices, and action steps to reach more kids this summer and beyond.

Our 2020 Summer Food Service Program Status Report

View Report

Become a Summer Meals Site

Sites are connected to and trained by a local supervising sponsoring organization that provides the meals. Most sites are “open” sites, meaning there is no enrollment process for children or families; any child or teenager can drop in during meal or snack service times. Other types of sites include day camp and residential camp sites, which serve children enrolled in their care.

Summer meals can be served in locations or at programs where at least half of children are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals. Criteria for approval include:

1. Location eligibility, determined by:

  • Census data, available in the USDA Capacity Builder Mapper below, 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-price school meals, it may also serve summer meals. Please contact us for assistance.

2. Ability to follow basic eligibility requirements:

  • Serve meals provided by the sponsor to children ages 18 and under
  • Maintain safe and sanitary conditions
  • Ensure children eat all meals on site
  • Attend the sponsor’s training session, ensure all site staff attend a training session, and have an adequate number of trained staff present during meal service
  • Other requirements outlined in each sponsor agreement

Use the USDA Capacity Builder Mapper to help you:

  • Check site eligibility
  • Locate potential partners
  • Find and compare summer meals sites from the current and previous summer
  • Identify community resources

To use the map:

  • Click “Find Address or Place” in the search bar at the top
  • Enter an address, city, county, state, and/or zip code
  • Click on the “Layers” button
  • Click “FNS_CACFP_SFSP_FY20_eligibility” to determine eligible locations; areas highlighted pink are eligible based on Census data. More locations may be eligible based on 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.

We can help

We can provide you with resources, data, and best-practices to improve participation in the Summer Food Service Program. We provide tailored one-on-one assistance to schools, community organizations and other youth services providers to maximize access to summer meals. We can:

  • Help coordinate sites and sponsors in local communities
  • Provide local and state-level data about SFSP
  • Help you promote awareness of summer meals sites in your area and across NYS.

Contact Krista Hesdorfer, Child Nutrition Programs Specialist, for assistance.

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