Here’s how to get free summer meals at NYC schools, pools, and parks
New York City’s education department recently served its millionth free summer meal to young people across the five boroughs.
The vast majority of those meals were served during the school day to children attending Summer Rising, the city’s free program that mixes academics and enrichment for elementary and middle school students. Only about 16% were takeaway meals, according to city officials.
Advocates are still trying to get the word out about the program’s free breakfast and lunch. Anyone 18 years old or younger, whether or not they attend public school, can get meals at more than 300 city sites.
Before the start of the pandemic, 1 in 5 children in the city were hungry. Now it’s 1 in 4, according to anti-hunger nonprofit City Harvest. Advocates are concerned the problem will get worse. Skyrocketing rents, grocery prices, and energy costs are squeezing many New York City families just as some safety net programs, such as child tax credits and the eviction moratorium, have ended.