2008-07-04 / School News

Free Summer Lunch On Tap At Public Schools

The New York City Department of Education has announced that the annual Summer Meals Program providing free meals throughout the summer to New York City children ages 18 and younger will begin on Friday, June 27, and continue through Friday, August 29.

For the first time, free breakfast and lunch will be served at food pantries and even the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and the City's floating pool in the Bronx. In all, there are more than 1,000 locations, including schools, pools, New York City public housing locations, libraries, and parks throughout the five boroughs.

"In these tough times, when grocery and gas prices are rising, it's reassuring to know that the City has a food program close to where children live and play," said Chief Executive of School Support Services Eric Goldstein. "Our goal is to help reach the City's youngsters when they're out of school and provide them with nutritious meals just as we do during the school year."

Children do not need to be enrolled in summer school to participate in the program, no application is required, and meals are available at any of the open sites, regardless of where a child lives. Breakfast is served from 8:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.; lunch is served from 11:00 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

The Summer Meal Program's menu includes pancakes, scrambled eggs, bagels with yogurt cream cheese, tacos, BBQ roasted chicken, corner-style pizza, crunchy carrots, "confetti" corn salad, chicken tenders salad, and a cold vegetable stew with zucchini, corn, tomato, and basil. All the meals provided are low in fat, low in sodium, and prepared without artificial colors or sweeteners.

The Department of Education's Summer Meals Program, which is administered by the Department's Office of SchoolFood, has been operating for more than 30 years.

Families can find the Summer Meals Program site nearest to them by calling 311.

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