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N.C. Summer Nutrition Programs Offer Free Food, Fitness, Farm to Summer, and Fun for Kids

Last Updated on June 14, 2023 9:45 am

More than 900,000 North Carolina students rely on the nutritious meals and snacks served during the school year through the School Breakfast, School Lunch, and Afterschool Snack Programs. When school is out, Summer Nutrition Programs provide nutritious meals at no cost for children and adolescents ages 18 and younger.

To find nutritious summer meals at no-cost near you for kids and teens who are ages 18 and younger:

  • Text “Food” to 304-304 for information in English or “COMIDA” to 304-304 for information in Spanish.
  • Use the N.C. Site Finder Map, https://bit.ly/3MhnX1S.
  • Check your local school district website, social media or other communications.
  • Learn more at http://summermeals4nckids.org.

In addition to nutritious meals, N.C. Summer Nutrition Programs provide fitness and fun through educational enrichment. To learn about activities offered by Summer Nutrition Programs near you, search #NCSummerMeals on social media. The Summer Nutrition mascot, Ray F. Sun, may visit a summer meals event in your community. Follow @Ray4NCKids on social media to learn where Ray will be next. The “F” in Ray’s name signifies the food, fitness, fun, and farm-to-summer activities that take place across North Carolina as part of N.C. Summer Nutrition Programs.

Program operators are encouraged to take the N.C. Farm to Summer Challenge to serve local food as part of meals and snacks, teach about agriculture, nutrition, and local food, share about #farmtosummer activities, and sign up to participate in the #NCCrunch for #FarmtoSchool Month. N.C. Summer Nutrition Programs, agencies, organizations, and families can all participate in the N.C. Farm to Summer Challenge. The N.C. Farm to Summer sign-up, toolkit, and other resources are available on the NCDPI, Office of School Nutrition website.

N.C. Summer Nutrition Programs are administered by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI), with federal assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Summer Nutrition Programs are typically located in economically distressed areas to serve the most food-insecure, vulnerable students. Meal sites may be located at schools, public housing centers, playgrounds, camps, parks, medical centers, faith-based facilities, libraries and other locations. Meals are served to eligible children at no cost. Registration and ID are not required.

Additional information regarding N.C. Summer Nutrition Programs may be found on the NCDPI, Office of School Nutrition website. Citizens and organizations interested in getting involved as sites, activity providers, or volunteers should contact the NCDPI, Summer Nutrition Programs Team at summernutritionprogram@dpi.nc.gov.

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