Free Summer Meals for Kids

NOTE: Summer meals in Philly have ended with the start of the school. Check back in June 2016 for an update.

Interested in other programs that provide food? Visit our Food Resources section.


What are summer meals?

There are more than 1,000 places in Philadelphia that serve free meals and snacks to kids and teens age 18 and under. There are no income requirements, ID or registration in qualifying areas.

Sites include recreation centers, churches, schools, public housing complexes and community organizations.

Why are summer meals important?

During the school year, thousands of low-income students eat free or reduced-price meals at schools. But when school is out and kids aren’t receiving that food, children face higher risks for hunger and malnutrition. Summer meals help to fill that gap, so kids have the nutritious food they need to stay healthy all summer.

How do I find my nearest summer meals site?

  • Call the toll-free Philly Summer Meals Hotline: 1-855-252-MEAL (6325)
  • Text "FOOD" to 877877
  • Visit 

Can I start a summer meals site in my community?  

If you plan to work with children age 18 and under this summer, you may qualify to serve them free meals.

The following Philadelphia sponsors can work with you:

  • Philadelphia Parks and Recreation: 215-685-2725
    • Runs the Playstreets program (city blocks closed to traffic to provide meals and activities.)
  • Nutritional Development Services (NDS), Archdiocese of Philadelphia: 215-895-3470, option 1
    • Works with a wide variety of summer programs and outdoor neighborhood meal sites.
    • NDS Summer Meals site

Still have questions? Call the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger: 1-855-252-MEAL (6325).

What are the responsibilities of a summer meals site? 

  • Attend a program training by a sponsor. Trainings begin in May.
  • Supervise meal service and activities at site.
  • Distribute meals by following USDA guidelines.
  • Help promote summer meals in your community.
  • Decide the length of time to provide meals.

Questions? Contact the Coalition Against Hunger: 855-252-MEAL (6325).

Summer meals are made available by the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option. Philadelphia sponsors include the Department of Parks & Recreation; Nutritional Development Services, Archdiocese of Philadelphia; and the Philadelphia Housing Authority.