Kids look forward to summer break as a time for fun! But for parents that rely on free or reduced school meals, the break can be a burden on the family’s food budget. Feeding a growing child can be challenging enough, but when the food budget is stretched even further during the summer months, families can struggle to make ends meet.
To help ensure kids get adequate nutrition during the summer, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) developed the Summer Food Service Program.
The Summer Food Service Program:
- Is open to all children ages 18 and younger
- Does not require enrollment
- Is free of charge
Programs operate during June, July, and August, when schools are closed for summer break. Participating sites offer breakfast and/or lunch. The days and times of operation vary by program site.
You can find summer meal sites near you by using the USDA’s Summer Meal Site Locator. Or you can call 1-866-348-6479 for a list of nearby sites.
Looking for ways to expand your food budget year round? NC Food and Nutrition Services, another USDA program, can help stretch your food budget. Would you like to find out if you’re eligible? The More In My Basket team is available to answer questions, conduct eligibility screenings, and provide assistance with completing the application. Please call 1-855-240-1451 (English) or 1-888-382-7105 (Spanish) Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm, to speak with a team member.