BY NYC SCHOOLS CHANCELLOR CARMEN FARINA
Starting June 29 through Sept. 4, free, healthy summer meals will be available for all children 18 years or younger at more than 1,000 locations across the city and for the first time families can download the Apple or Android user-friendly mobile app, Schoolfood to choose from more than 1,000 sites and access daily menus.
Last year, more than 8 million meals were served, a spike from the 7.6 million meals served during the previous summer. The Department of Education has launched a multi-lingual campaign to reach millions of more families this summer.
In New York City, more than 477,000 children face hunger – about one in four, making them vulnerable to infections, diseases and more likely to be hospitalized. Eating healthy meals is critical for a child’s development and by providing free, accessible breakfast and lunch for children of all ages, the DOE is helping to continue good habits during the summer months to all families, regardless of their zip code.
Summer meals will be available at schools, libraries, parks, public housing sites, community based organizations, and soup kitchens throughout the five boroughs. Sites will serve breakfast weekdays from 8 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Summer meals items, which are low in fat, sodium and prepared without artificial colors or sweeteners include blueberry pancakes, yogurt and granola and cheese omelet with salsa, beef taco, black bean and corn salad.
And for the first time, food trucks will be open for lunch from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Friday at Orchard Beach in the Bronx and seven days a week at the Queens Zoo parking lot at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Corona Plaza at Roosevelt Ave. and 103rd St. in Queens and the Rivington Playground at the Sara D. Roosevelt Park in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Participation requires no ID, registration or documentation. Children don’t need to be enrolled in summer school to participate in the summer meals program and no application is required.
For more information parents may text “nycmeals” to 877-877 or visit the following websites: nyc.gov/311schoolfoodnyc.org, nokidhungry.org, nycgovparks.org/.