Two programs are offering kids in Virginia free meals this summer

Last year, both programs served nearly 1,000 locations in the Commonwealth


Two summer meal programs are helping make sure students have something to eat while on summer vacation.

Through the Summer Food Service Program and the Seamless Summer Option, which are funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, your kid can get a free nutritious meal this summer.

The programs are typically held at schools, public housing centers, community centers, playgrounds, camps, parks and houses of worship. Last year, they served nearly 1,000 locations in the Commonwealth, according to Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow.

“Thousands of Virginia students rely on nutritious free or reduced-priced meals during the school year. The Summer Food Service Program ensures that students receive proper nutrition for their developing minds and bodies, even when they aren’t in school,” Balow said. “I am appreciative of all our summer meals sponsors and partners who work to help reduce food insecurity when school is not in session.”

Children who are 18 and under are eligible to receive a meal at participating sites with no proof of identity required.

Furthermore, children who receive children receiving Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits are also eligible to access nutritious summer meals at Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option sites.

Families may use the online USDA Meals for Kids Site Finder to find nearby summer meals program locations. Parents and others may also text “food” or “comida” to 304-304 to receive a list of nearby feeding centers.

About the Author:

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.