Free Meals for D.C.'s Disadvantaged Youth

Dorothy Rowley | 6/25/2014, 3:53 p.m.
District youth from low-income households have access to free meals through Aug. 22. (Courtesy photo)

D.C. youths in need of nutritious meals and snacks can now get them for free at more than 300 sites citywide through the District's summer meals program.

The program, which is administered by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, services young children and teens from disadvantaged backgrounds who often have limited access to nutritious foods. Workers at participating meal sites will serve breakfast and lunch through Aug. 22, with no application or identification required.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 30 million children receive free or reduced-cost meals through the department's National School Lunch program, but only 2.3 million of them continue to receive meals through its Summer Food Service program.

"Good nutrition is essential for effective learning every day, including summer vacations," said Jesús Aguirre, state superintendent of education. "As part of our commitment to supporting children year round, our free summer meals program provides nutritious meals so children can continue to learn and grow throughout the summer."

Meal sites include DC Parks and Recreation centers, select public schools and library locations. The meals can also be obtained at faith-based and community-based organizations, housing authorities and summer camps.

People interested in finding a site can call 211, text FOOD to (202) 6565-EAT or visit onecityyouth.dc.gov.