During the school year, tens of thousands of Oregon children eat school-provided meals each day. However, when school ends for the year, so does this important source of nutrition. The Summer Food Service Program is meant to help fill that nutritional gap, offering free meals and snacks to all kids ages 1-18. Summer meal programs are open to all families without paperwork or signing up – kids can just drop in! Many programs also offer fun activities so kids can stay active and keep learning.

This important combination of food and fun helps combat summertime food insecurity and learning loss, which can increase during the summer months for children from households with low incomes when school meals are not available. 

To find local programs, families can visit www.summerfoodoregon.org, call 211, or text “food” to 304-304.

Last summer, Oregon families were served an average of 77,202 summer meals per day. With 20% of Oregon’s children living in households that do not qualify for federal nutrition assistance, these meals are an essential part of fighting child hunger in the state. But this is far fewer than the meals served during an average school day – It is important to close that gap by supporting more communities, raising awareness through outreach, and by reducing barriers to summer meals for kids and families.

Two newer programs are beginning to expand in Oregon this year as well:

  • In addition to the long-standing Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), many schools are moving to adopt the new Seamless Summer Option (SSO), which allows schools to continue their school year meal programs in a similar fashion through the summer, reducing paperwork on the school’s end, and increasing access.
    • Note: from the families’ perspectives, both programs function the same. But we hope that the streamlined administrative process in the SSO will allow even more sites to offer free summer meals. Both SFSP and SSO sites are included in summerfoodoregon.org
  • Qualifying children received $391 from the Pandemic EBT program, designed to help families offset the increased price of food during summer months, while children are not in school. Families with children that received free or reduced-price lunches during the school year were sent a P-EBT card in the mail in April or May.  In future years, we expect the state to participate in the continued Summer EBT program, which will issue similar benefits to qualifying families.

Find free summer meals near you: visit www.summerfoodoregon.org, call 211, or text “food” to 304-304