Summer Meals Programs

Although Maryland is one of the wealthiest states in the country, 1 in 5 households with children in Maryland struggle with hunger.  During the 2011-2012 school year, over 358,000 children in Maryland received free or reduced price breakfast and lunch. These school meals help struggling families by giving children balanced, nutritious meals throughout the day.  But what happens to these students during the summer?

The Summer Meals Program provides nutritious meals to students during the summer.  Children in low-income areas ages 18 and under are able to participate in the program.  There are many different sites where children can go to receive these free meals during June, July, and August.  These sites can be schools, housing complexes, recreation centers, churches or other community programs.  To be a food site at least 1/2 of youth attending need to qualify to receive free or reduced lunch.  During last summer, only 1 out of 5 kids who received free and reduced meals in school actually participated in the summer food service program.  Let's get more kids involved!

Facts about the Summer Meals Program:

  • All summer meals offered through USDA programs are FREE.
  • The meals served are nutritious and meet national guidelines.  An example of a meal includes: turkey sandwich on wheat bread, milk, an apple and a salad.
  • Many sites offer fun learning and recreational activities in a safe, supervised environment. 
The Summer Meals Program helps provide a consistent source of healthy food for kids throughout the summer months.  If you would like to find a site near you call 1-877-731-9300 or visit www.mdsummermeals.org.

If you would like to learn more about these programs check out:


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This institution is an equal opportunity provider. This material was funded by USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP. The University of Maryland Extension will not discriminate against any person because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry or national origin, marital status, genetic information, political affiliation, and gender identity or expression. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides nutrition assistance to people with low income. It can help you buy nutritious foods for a better diet. To find out more about Maryland’s Food Supplement Program (SNAP), contact the Maryland Department of Human Resources at 1-800-332-6347 or apply online at https://mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us/.
© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall