Hunger doesn’t take a summer break.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Summer Food Service Program, known in the District as the DC Summer Meals Program, provides reimbursement for free nutritious meals and snacks served to children 18 and younger.
The D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education recently announced the availability of federal funds to assist sponsors and meal sites participating in the program, which provides underserved D.C. youth with no-cost meals during the summer break.
The 2020 Free Summer Meals Program application period ends June 15, enabling qualifying organizations to also apply as sponsors.
The program runs through August, with meal sites conveniently located at hundreds of locations across the city. However, meal site operation dates, days, and times vary by location.
Beginning in mid-June, participants can call 1-866-3-HUNGRY, or text FOOD to 877-877 to find open meal sites participating in the program. Site information is updated on a weekly basis. Sites established in low-income areas are “open” sites, where any child can receive a meal, no questions asked.
Sponsors must be 501c3 tax-exempt organizations, such as public and private nonprofit community-based organizations, school food authorities, faith-based organizations, housing authorities and units of local and federal government. Public or private nonprofit, day or overnight summer camps may participate as well. A for-profit organization may not apply as a sponsor in the program but may be eligible to participate as a site.