Summer meals for children ages 18 and under

Are you interested in accessing free meals for your children this summer? Summer meals are a fun, inclusive, EASY way to access yummy and nutritious meals for all children 18 and under when
school is out. Here’s what your household needs to know about summer meals.

Can I only access meals if my child receives free or reduced lunch?

No! Meals are available for ALL children 18 and under.

Will I have to fill out paperwork in order for my child to access summer meals?
No! If you are visiting a publicly-advertised site (on the USDA Meal Finder, 2-1-1, or Hunger Free Vermont’s website) you will not have to fill out paperwork for summer meals- you don’t even need to live in the town you’re picking up from.

Where can I get summer meals?
Summer meal sites are overseen by school districts or non-profit organizations. Sites are set up at convenient community locations like schools, libraries, town halls, or parks. Access the Find Meals for Kids meal tracking map updated by the USDA weekly to see where you can access free summer meals in your area. You can also dial 2-1-1 at any time and ask where summer meals are being provided in your region.

Who is eligible to get summer meals?
Children 18 and under can receive free meals and snacks, no questions asked!

Do my children have to be present when I’m picking up meals?
Due to *COVID 19, children do not have to be present when you’re accessing a summer meal site. This is in support of social distancing and is meant to reduce exposure to COVID 19.

What can I expect a summer meal to look like?

Summer meals will likely look a lot like the school meals that your child eats throughout the school year, and are appropriate for toddlers through teens! Summer meals have to follow certain USDA guidelines that ensure they are nutritious, safe, AND delicious. Each free lunch includes fruit or veggies, protein, a grain, and milk! Ask for a menu from your local meal site so that you can look ahead to see what is being served daily!

We’ve visited summer meal sites in the past, how will they look different this year due to COVID?
There are a number of program flexibilities in place this summer to help keep kids nourished and keep all of us safe! These include the option for sites to operate as grab and go, for sites to offer more than one meal at once, and for parents or guardians to pick up on behalf of their child. There are some things that you may be required to do in order to stay safe while receiving summer
• Make sure you are wearing a mask when visiting a summer meal site!
• Always follow social distancing standards when picking up your summer meals
• Most sites are going to be grab and go distribution sites this year to support social distancing

*Some day camps or programs for kids offer free breakfast and lunch to participating students through the summer meal program. Talk to your child’s program to see if they participate

Learn more about Summer Meals at Hunger Free Vermont