The 2022 Summer Food Service Program, providing free meals to approximately 400,000 young people at parks, pools, libraries, camps, and schools in communities across the state, kicks off in July at nearly 3,000 sites statewide. An interactive USDA online map helps families search for a service site by address, city, or zip code.
Studies have shown that access to nutritious food during summer break benefits children’s health, education, and food security. Inadequate nutrition can have developmental consequences for children, including lower academic performance, social and emotional difficulties like anxiety and depression, and a higher risk for chronic illnesses like anemia or diabetes. Young people may also have the opportunity to interact with other children their age and participate in free activities at program sites.
The Summer Food Service Program was established to ensure that low-income children aged 18 and younger receive nutritious meals when schools are not in session. USDA Food and Nutrition Service administers the Summer Food Service Program at the national level, and the New York State Education Department administers it at the state level.