Families reminded of free summer meals

Published 8:34 am Friday, June 24, 2022

Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow is reminding Virginia families of the availability of free nutritious meals this summer through two summer meals programs.

The Summer Food Service Program and the Seamless Summer Option operate at schools, public housing centers, community centers, playgrounds, camps, parks and houses of worship. Last summer, meals were served under the two programs at approximately 1,000 locations in the commonwealth.

“Thousands of Virginia students rely on nutritious free or reduced-priced meals during the school year. The Summer Food Service Program ensures that students receive proper nutrition for their developing minds and bodies, even when they aren’t in school,” Balow said. “I am appreciative of all our summer meals sponsors and partners who work to help reduce food insecurity when school is not in session.”

Children ages 18 and under may receive nutritious meals at participating locations with no proof of identity required. Children receiving Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits are also eligible to access nutritious summer meals at Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option sites.

Families may use the online USDA Meals for Kids Site Finder to find nearby summer meals program locations. Parents and others may also text “food” or “comida” to 304-304 to receive a list of nearby feeding centers.

The summer meals programs, which are funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, allow organizations to combine feeding programs with other activities in communities where at least 50% of children qualify for free or reduced-price school meals.