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Free Meals for Kids All Summer

Grab A Bite At Schools, Libraries

Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott announced that the annual summer meals program began last Thursday, June 28 and runs to Aug. 31.

Free breakfast and lunch are available to youngsters 18 and younger, regardless of New York City residency. The meals will be available at roughly 1,000 locations, including pools, schools, libraries, parks, public housing sites and soup kitchens throughout the five boroughs.

Share Our Strength, a national non-profit that focuses on eliminating childhood hunger, produced postcards and flyers that are being distributed throughout the city through food advocates, communitybased organizations city agencies and the Department of Education (DOE) to alert families of the summer meals program.

“This is a great opportunity for families who want to spend time at a City pool or park and have a meal free of charge that is nutritious and delicious,” Walcott said. “The meals meet the nutritional guidelines that we developed with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and thanks to the Mayor’s Food Policy Coordinator, the Office of School Food and Share Our Strength, we have a terrific outreach effort to get the word out.”

“The summer meals program is a great way to make sure that kids who get free lunch during the school year can also get the nutrition they need when school is out” said Billy Shore, founder and executive director of Share Our Strength. “We are thrilled to be partnering with the NYC Department of Education to ensure that every child in New York who needs something to eat can get something to eat.”

In an effort to make the summer meals even more accessible and convenient, the DOE’s Office of School Food is operating three refrigerated food trucks that will serve meals to youngsters at Flushing Meadows- Corona Park in Queens.

During the weekend only lunch is served and mobile food trucks are operational during weekends only for at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Weekend lunch hours at pools and parks vary according to individual sites.

This year, parents have many ways to find a location close to them. They can call 311, log onto either the DOE at schools.nyc.gov, Share Our Strength’s website, or the Mayor’s Food Policy Coordinator’s website. Parents also may text “nycmeals” to 877877, or visit the Parks Department website for locations in parks and pools.

The DOE’s summer meals program, which is administered by the Office of School Food, has been operating for more than 30 years. Last year the DOE saw a 3.4 percent increase in the number of meals served from 6.9 million in the summer of 2010 to 7.1 million in the summer of 2011.

“Children do not need to be enrolled in summer school to participate in the summer meals program, no application is required, and meals are available at many locations, regardless of where a child lives,” said Deputy Chancellor of Operations Kathleen Grimm.

“We have been working hard with both city agencies and nonprofit partners to get the word out about summer meals, because we know that the need for healthy food does not go away over summer vacation,” said Kimberly Kessler, the Mayor’s food policy coordinator. “We want children to take advantage of this great program.”

This summer’s menu includes many long-time favorites such as pancakes, scrambled eggs, bagels with yogurt cream cheese, barbecueroasted chicken, whole grain pasta, crunchy carrots, confetti corn salad, chicken tenders salad, and a cold vegetable stew with zucchini, corn, tomato, and basil.

All the meals provided are low in fat, low in sodium, and prepared without any artificial sweeteners or colors.

“No child in America should go hungry,” said James Arena-DeRose, northeast regional administrator for the USDA Food and Nutrition. “In collaboration with the Bloomberg administration, New York State, the DOE and community partners across the city, when school is out the federal summer meals program provides critical nutrition assistance to thousands of children in New York City.”

Locally, summer meals are being offered through Aug. 31 (except where noted) at the following schools, parks and libraries in the Times Newsweekly’s coverage area:

Ridgewood/Glendale

– Grover Cleveland High School, 2127 Himrod St., Ridgewood, Monday through Friday for breakfast from 7:30 to 9:15 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.;

– I.S. 93, 66-56 Forest Ave., Ridgewood, Monday through Friday for breakfast from 8 to 9:15 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.;

– the Glendale public library, 78- 60 73rd Pl., for lunch on Monday through Thursday from 1 to 2 p.m.;

Bushwick

– Maria Hernandez Park, Knickerbocker Avenue and Starr Street in Bushwick, for lunch on Tuesdays through Fridays from noon to 1 p.m.;

– the Bushwick Pool, 835 Flushing Ave., Bushwick, for breakfast on Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. and lunch seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.;

– the Bushwick Houses, 24 Humboldt St., Down Ramp Side in Bushwick, Monday through Friday for breakfast from 9 to 10 a.m. and lunch from noon to 1 p.m. beginning on Monday, July 9;

– I.S. 291, 231 Palmetto St. in Bushwick, Monday through Friday for breakfast from 8 to 9:15 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. through Aug. 24;

– P.S. 106, 1328 Putnam Ave. in Bushwick, Monday through Friday for breakfast from 8 to 9:15 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. beginning on Monday, July 9 and ending on Aug. 24;

– the School of Humanities, 35 Starr St., Bushwick, Monday through Friday for breakfast from 8 to 9:15 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.;

Woodhaven/Ozone Park

– the Woodhaven public library, 85-41 Forest Pkwy., for lunch on Monday through Friday from 1 to 2 p.m.;

– P.S. 63, 97-25 108th St. in Ozone Park, Monday through Friday for breakfast from 8 to 9:15 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. through Aug. 24;

– the Ozone Park library, 92-24 Rockaway Blvd., for lunch on Monday through Friday from 1 to 2 p.m.;

Sunnyside/Woodside/L.I.C.

– the Sunnyside public library, 43-06 Greenpoint Ave., for lunch on Monday through Friday from 1 to 2 p.m.;

– I.S. 125, 46-02 47th Ave. in Woodside, Monday through Friday for breakfast from 8 to 9:15 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.;

– P.S. 11, 54-25 Skillman Ave. in Woodside, Monday through Friday through Aug. 10 for breakfast from 8 to 9:15 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.;

– the Woodside public library, 54- 22 Skillman Ave., for lunch on Monday through Friday from 1 to 2 p.m.;

– the Ravenswood Houses, 35-35 21st St. in Ravenswood, Monday through Friday for breakfast from 9 to 10 a.m. and lunch from noon to 1 p.m. beginning on Monday, July 9;

– P.S. 166, 33-09 35th Ave. in Long Island City, Monday through Friday for breakfast from 8 to 9:15 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.;

– Queensbridge South Houses, 41-07 12th St. in Queensbridge, Monday through Friday for breakfast from 9 to 10 a.m. and lunch from noon to 1 p.m. beginning on Monday, July 9;

Rego Park

– P.S. 139, 93-06 63rd Dr. in Rego Park, Monday through Friday for breakfast from 8 to 9:15 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.;

Elmhurst

– I.S. 5, 50-40 Jacobus St. in Elmhurst, Monday through Friday for breakfast from 8 to 9 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.;

– New Life Food Pantry, 82-10 Queens Blvd. in Elmhurst, for lunch on Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.;

– P.S. 7, 80-55 Cornish Ave. in Elmhurst, Monday through Friday for breakfast from 8 to 9:15 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.;

Corona/Jackson Heights

– I.S. 61, 98-50 50th Ave. in Corona, Monday through Friday for breakfast from 8 to 9:15 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.;

– The Playground for All Children, 111-01 Corona Ave. in Corona, Monday through Friday through Aug. 24 for breakfast from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and lunch from 1 to 3 p.m.;

– P.S. 16, 41-15 104th St. in Corona, Monday through Friday for breakfast from 8 to 9:15 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.;

– the Lefrak City public library, 98-30 57th Ave. in Corona, for lunch on Monday through Friday from 1 to 2 p.m.;

– Parks Mobile Unit at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, 53-51 111th St., Corona, for breakfast and lunch seven days a week from 9:45 to 3:30 p.m.;

– P.S. 92, 99-01 34th Ave. in Corona, Monday through Friday through Aug. 17 for breakfast from 8 to 9:15 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.;

– the Langston Hughes Cultural Center, 100-01 Northern Blvd. in Corona, for lunch on Monday through Friday from 1 to 2 p.m. through Aug. 12; and

– I.S. 145, 33-34 80th St. in Jackson Heights, Monday through Friday for breakfast from 8 to 9:15 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. through Aug. 10.

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