SUMMER MEALS FOR KIDS
AND TEENS ARE HERE!
How to Find Meals for Kids Near You:
Text FOOD or COMIDA to 304-304
Use the new NC Site Finder Map: Click Here!
Check your local school’s website or social media for the latest info
Information updated weekly, June through August. Site information might not appear on texting hotline results unless site is currently open.
IMPORTANT SUMMER TEXTING HOTLINE UPDATE
No Kid Hungry’s summer hotline texting hotline has a new number. Text FOOD or COMIDA to 304-304 during the summer months to find a site near you with free meals for kids. The 304-304 number replaces the former hotline number, 877-877, which was used and advertised for many years.
For more information, and a toolkit with new promotional assets, click here.
Summer Nutrition Programs have become even more critical in ensuring children have access to appealing, nutritious meals during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the increased economic challenges faced by many families.
Based on the federal emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, school food authorities and community organization sponsors throughout NC began operating the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) in March 2020 when schools closed, to ensure no children go hungry. Since then, USDA has announced many waivers that allowed greater flexibilities. When school resumed in Fall 2021, school food authorities had the option to use the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) to serve meals instead of the traditional National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.
As of March 2022, Congress has declined to provide USDA the authorization to extend these COVID-19 emergency flexibility waivers. This means summer meals will return to “normal” operations, which means that kids must eat meals on-site, and no drive-thru or pick-up options will be available. Click here to learn more about changes to meals for kids in summer 2022 and school year 2022-23.
This site, SummerMeals4NCKids.org, is focused on serving meals for kids during the months of June to August, when traditional schools let out for summer break.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who can receive free summer meals?
Children and teens, ages 18 and younger, are eligible to receive free summer meals.
- Where are free meals offered?
Free summer meals are available at more than 2,500 locations in North Carolina. Use the NC Site Finder Map, from the NC Department of Public Instruction, to locate summer meal sites near you! Summer meal sites are safe places for kids and teens to go, such as schools, faith-based facilities, camps, parks, libraries, and community centers.
- Do I need to apply to receive free meals for children?
Parents and guardians do not need to apply to the Summer Nutrition Program to receive free summer meals for their children.
- Are registration or ID required?
No registration or ID is required to receive free meals for children.
- When are free meals offered for children?
Free nutritious meals are available June through August each year when traditional school is out.
How Are We Doing?
Read below to learn about how the Summer Nutrition Programs served our state in previous program years. Both years reflect the meal services that operated from June through August.
- 4,618,964 Meals Served
- 169 Sponsors
- 2,936 Sites
- 1 to 66 Service days (average 23 service days)
- 99,078 Average Daily Attendance or children receiving a meal
- 11.53% Percent of Need Met (the number of children eligible for free and reduced-price meals reached through Summer Nutrition Programs)
- 27,966,843 Meals Served (June through August) — More than six times the number of meals served in 2019!
- 187 Sponsors
- 2,624 Sites
- 1 – 92 Service days (average 34 service days)
For questions about the Summer Nutrition Programs in North Carolina, contact the Summer Meals Team at the NC Department of Public Instruction:
For questions about this website or marketing support for summer meals, contact the Carolina Hunger Initiative team:
This site is a collaboration between the NC Department of Public Instruction and the Carolina Hunger Initiative at UNC-Chapel Hill.