The Department of Education is opening 400 community meal sites across the Five Boroughs that will be open to all New Yorkers and serve students taking part in the city’s free summer school program, Summer Rising, starting July 6.
New Yorkers can pick up grab-and-go meals at the sites Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and other take-home meals like pizza, baked ravioli, oven roasted chicken, Jamaican beef patties, grilled cheese and a variety of breakfast foods. Halal and Kosher meals are available at some sites.
“Every New Yorker should have access to healthy, nutritious food this summer – no matter who they are or where they live,” Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter said in a statement. “Our heroic food service staff continue to show up for their neighbors and I proud that our schools are a partner in the fight against hunger.”
Last year, the DOE began offering grab-and-go meals at public schools as an increasing number of families became food insecure due to the pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, around 15% of New York City residents were food insecure, according to the Hunter College New York City Food Policy Center. That number rose to 25% during the global health crisis with 74% of soup kitchens and food pantries in the five boroughs reporting an increase in visitors.
New Yorkers interested in getting a free meal from the DOE can find a location on an interactive map hosted on the department’s website at schools.nyc.gov/SummerMeals or by calling 311 or texting “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 877-877
“With kids across New York City facing increased food insecurity, the Summer Meals program run by the New York City Department of Education is an essential lifeline to help families put food on the table,” said Rachel Sabella, director of No Kid Hungry New York. “This year, New Yorkers of all ages can pick up meals at schools and pools across the 5 boroughs. We urge families to text NYC FOOD or NYC COMIDA to 877-877 to find a meal site in their own neighborhood.”
Meals will not be available for pick-up on Monday, July 5 or Tuesday, July 20 (Eid-ul-Adha), according to the DOE website.