Find free summer meals sites

Published 8:11 am Thursday, June 6, 2019

As schools close for summer break, No Kid Hungry Virginia encourages families to text FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877 to find summer meal sites near them. Nutritious free meals are available for children and teens 18 and younger at many locations throughout the state during the summer months.

For many kids, summer is the hungriest time of the year. When schools close for the summer, school meals disappear as well. Only about 15 percent of Virginia students who rely on free or reduced-price school lunches are also getting free meals through summer programs.

The federal summer meals program connects children to the nutrition they need during the summer months. Funded by the USDA, administered by state agencies and served by organizations families trust, like schools, libraries, faith-based organizations and community groups, these meals make sure kids have access to healthy meals when school is out of session. Many sites offer educational and recreational activities that kids of all ages can participate in so they can eat, hang out with friends, and take part in activities offered.

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Families can text FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877 and type in a ZIP code to find nearby summer meals sites, along with operating days and times. This information populates once local schools are out of session and sites are up and running. No application or registration is required at sites. No Kid Hungry organizes the texting service and updates the information weekly. Locations are also available at https://www.fns.usda. gov/summerfoodrocks.