Dutchess Kids Eat Free through Summer Meals Program: They are free to all children and teens 18 and younger who come to one of the summer meals sites.
Summer Food Service Program in Dutchess
For the nearly 16,000 young people in Dutchess County who qualify for free and reduced lunch, summer is less a vacation from school than a prolonged struggle with hunger. That’s why school districts, nonprofits and local municipalities coordinate each year to run the Summer Food Service Program, which serves nearly 90,000 free meals to children at more than 20 locations throughout the county. The food served through the program follows United States Department of Agriculture nutritional guidelines and is paid for by the USDA.
By offering nutritious foods at locations in Beacon, the Village of Wappingers, Poughkeepsie, Dover, Hyde Park and Webutuck, the program teaches children how to build a healthy plate and establish good eating habits. Many of the locations offer more than food; they also offer educational activities, friends and a sense of community.
There is no need to apply for the program or sign up ahead of time for the meals. They are free to all children and teens 18 and younger who come to one of the summer meals sites, which include schools, churches, community centers and other safe places. As sites and times vary throughout the county, families should text FOOD to 877-877 or call 866.3HUNGRY (866.348.6479) to find a summer meals site in their neighborhood.
For a list of some of the Hudson Valley locations, visit CCEDutchess.org and click on Nutrition and then Summer Food Service Programs.