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July 5, 2016
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JP O'Hare

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2016 Summer Food Service Program to Serve 400,000 Free Meals Daily

USDA Online Map Tool Shows Locations Where Meals Are Served 

Approximately 400,000 free meals will be served daily to children at 2,900 sites across New York State through the Summer Food Service Program, the State Education Department announced today.

“When school ends for summer, so does access to consistent, healthy meals for thousands of New York’s children,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa.  “Summer Food Service Programs help fill that gap for children and parents and provide a critical community service by engaging families at safe, fun summer events.”

“SED works closely with the USDA to administer this incredibly important program,” State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said.  “The work that CAPC and Summer Food Service Program providers across New York State do helps to make sure kids get much-needed, nutritious meals over summer break.”

About 400,000 free meals are served daily to New York State children through the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program, which is underway throughout New York State through September 5, 2016.

  • Statewide, there are 348 organizations serving nutritious meals every day
  • There are approximately 2,900 SFSP feeding sites throughout the State
  • It is anticipated more than 20 million nutritious meals will be served to children this summer

The Summer Food Service Program was established to ensure that low-income children, 18 and younger, continue to 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 (NYSED) administers it at the state level.

There are a number of tools available to help find the site nearest you:

  • USDA National Hunger Hotline 1-866-3-HUNGRY or 1-877-3-HAMBRE
  • 211 in New York State
  • 311 in New York City

To bring renewed awareness to this important program, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Deputy Under Secretary Katie Wilson will join the Community Action Planning Council of Jefferson County (CAPC), Summer Food Service Program for a kickoff celebration on Wednesday, July 6 from 11am-12pm at the Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library in Watertown.  CAPC and the Watertown Central School District served 55,000 meals to children in Watertown and the surrounding communities last summer.  There are approximately 40 feeding site locations participating throughout Watertown and Jefferson County for the 2016 summer, where children will be able to obtain a nutritious meal in a safe environment.  The kickoff will be in conjunction with the local farmers market and there are plans to incorporate locally grown produce into the menu and events for the day.

More information on the CAPC Summer Food Service Program is here:

Information on NYSED administration of the Summer Food Service Program is here: