Summer Meals and School Meals help to give kids the nutrition they need to stay healthy so that they can learn and grow. Each program helps to fight hunger and obesity by reimbursing groups like schools, child care centers, and after-school programs for serving healthy meals to children.
Read below to learn more about these great programs!
Kids & Teens EAT FREE All Summer in Philadelphia! No ID, proof of income, or registration required.
What are summer meals?
There are over 1,000 places in Philadelphia that serve free breakfast, lunch, and snacks to kids and teens ages 18 and under, as well as disabled persons over 18 who participate in school programs for people who are mentally or physically disabled. No income, ID, or registration is required.
Sites include recreation centers, churches, schools, public housing complexes, community organizations, and even private homes participating in the Department of Parks & Recreation’s “Playstreets” program.
Why are summer meals important?
During the school year, thousands of low-income students eat free or reduced-price meals at schools. But when school is out and kids aren’t getting those meals, they face higher risk for hunger and malnutrition. Summer meals help to fill that gap and give kids and teens the nutritious food they need to stay healthy all summer.
How do I find my nearest summer meals site?
To find your nearest Free Summer Meals site:
Call the toll-free Philly Summer Meals Hotline: 1-855-252-MEAL
Text “MealPA” to 877877
Like the map on this website? Visit www.phillysummermeals.org for a similar map (available June - August)
Can I start a summer meals site in my community?
If you plan to work with children age 18 and under this summer, you may qualify to serve them free meals. These two sponsors can work with you to set up a Summer Meals site in Philadelphia:
Philadelphia Parks and Recreation: 215-685-2725
Runs the Playstreets program (city blocks closed to traffic to provide meals & activities).
Nutritional Development Services (NDS), Archdiocese of Philadelphia: 215-895-3470, option 1
Works with a wide variety of summer programs & outdoor neighborhood meal sites.
Still have questions?
Call the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger’s Summer Meals Hotline: 1-855-252-MEAL
What are the responsibilities of a summer meals site?
Attend a program training by a sponsor
Decide how many weeks to provide meals
Promote summer meals in your community
Follow USDA guidelines to hand out meals
Supervise meal service and site activities
If you host a summer meals site, the program is flexible! You decide:
The length of time to provide meals each day
How many days a week you will offer meals
How many weeks during the summer you will operate
What, if any, other activities you can offer at the site
Questions? Contact the Coalition Against Hunger: 1-855-252-MEAL.
Summer meals are made available by the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option. Philadelphia sponsors include the Department of Parks & Recreation; Nutritional Development Services, Archdiocese of Philadelphia; C.B.S. Kosher Food Program, the Philadelphia Housing Authority, and others.
The National School Breakfast Program (SBP) provides K-12 students with nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day. All School District of Philadelphia schools now offer FREE breakfast to ALL students, as well as many parochial and charter schools.
Why is School Breakfast important?
Children do better in class when they start their day with breakfast. However, far too many students in Pennsylvania still aren’t getting the nutrition they need at school, which can negatively affect their health as well as their ability to learn and succeed academically. More than half of Pennsylvania’s low-income students who eat lunch at school do not receive school breakfast.
The School Breakfast Program is proven to decrease discipline and behavioral problems, visits to the school nurse, and tardiness in schools, while increasing student attentiveness and attendance. Studies also find that students who eat school breakfast show improved reading and math skills, as well as higher scores on standardized tests. By ensuring more students have access to school breakfast, we can help to improve health and learning outcomes for all children in Pennsylvania.
How is Pennsylvania working to increase School Breakfast participation?
From January 2014 to March 2014, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, local businesses and anti-hunger organizations across the state worked together to launch the first-ever Pennsylvania School Breakfast Challenge.
How can my school join the next PA School Breakfast Challenge?
To learn more about the School Breakfast Challenge, outreach activities, and how to implement an alternative breakfast service model at your school, visit: http://www.hungercoalition.org/breakfast
The School Breakfast Program provides cash assistance to states to operate nonprofit breakfast programs in schools and residential childcare institutions. The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service administers the SBP at the Federal level. State education agencies administer the SBP at the state level, and local school food authorities operate the Program in schools. Find out more at http://www.fns.usda.gov/sbp/school-breakfast-program-sbp.
What is the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)?
The National School Lunch Program provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day. As a result of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA), more students now have access to school lunch through a new “Community Eligibility Provision” (CEP) that went into effect nationwide during 2014.
What is “Community Eligibility Provision” (CEP)?
CEP makes it easier for high need schools to serve free meals to all their students without the added work of processing paper applications. Instead, schools use data on the proportion of students receiving SNAP (formerly Food Stamps), MA (Medical Assistance), and a few other programs, to estimate need and receive reimbursement for meals served.
How can my child receive free school lunch?
Thanks to CEP, starting with the 2014-2015 school year, the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) public schools (and charters served by SDP) now offer FREE breakfast and lunch to ALL students, with no paperwork required from families. 60 Archdiocesan schools in the region are now also able to offer free meals to all students thanks to this policy change.
The National School Lunch Program is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. The program was established under the National School Lunch Act, signed by President Harry Truman in 1946. Find out more at http://www.fns.usda.gov/nslp/national-school-lunch-program-nslp.