This summer free meals for children and teens are available under the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The federally funded program ensures that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. This summer, USDA plans to serve more than 200 million free meals to children 18 years and under at approved SFSP sites.
Last year, led by such groups as Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ) and the New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition, New Jersey witnessed a 21% increase in the number of local summer meal sites. This year efforts include working more closely with local sponsors to help them get the word out by distributing flyers, hosting kickoff events and working with school districts. Other organizations can aid program participation by distributing flyers in locations where children and families congregate, sending email alerts to their network and by posting information on social media. See the New Jersey specific toolkit.
Parents can find a local summer meal site for their children by any of the following methods:
- Online by typing www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks to access “Find Summer Meals In Your Community”
- Text “food” to 877-877 on a smartphone
- Visiting the njsummermeals.org website and clicking the “Find Summer Meals” button
For more information on child nutrition campaigns visit the New Jersey Food For Thought