The Summer Food Service Program is a federal program providing free meals and fun activities to kids 18 and under during the summer months when school is out of session. According to the PA Department of Education, nearly 14 million children across the state depend on free and reduced-price school meals. However, only about 2.3 million children participate in the summer meals program, leaving millions of children without the adequate nutrition they need.
Our Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) outreach initiative is an aggressive campaign to boost participation in summer child hunger programs by collaborating with local organizations that agree to serve kids during the summer. In 2018, the SFSP provided more than 145 million nutritious meals and snacks to children over the summer.
The Food Bank provides information, best practices, marketing support and technical assistance to the sites and sponsors in our service area. In each county, our regional coordinators recruit partners and regularly convene community task force groups to increase participation. For more than a decade, the Food Bank has supported the work of the large network of partners bringing summer meals to kids in our region. In 2019, the Food Bank also became a new sponsor and has since served 393,957 meals at 96 partner sites throughout Allegheny County. This number includes Grab ‘n Go meals that were served at 24 community locations during the spring 2020 COVID-related school closures. The Food Bank’s role as a Summer Food sponsor has also allowed us to step in to serve breakfasts and lunches at seven virtual “Learning HUBS” during the 2020-2021 school year. We look forward to continuing to serve meals in summer 2021.
Hundreds of sites are opening this summer throughout Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset and Washington counties. Meals are served free to any kid 18 and under. There is no registration required to participate, kids can visit any site during its specified serving time to receive a free meal.
Text “FOOD” to 877-877, or
Call 2-1-1 for the United Way hotline to hear site locations and meal schedules, or
Visit the USDA Summer Meal Site Finder.
To find out how you can sponsor a Summer Food program or learn more about how we serve children in southwestern Pennsylvania, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.