Free Summer Meals Program Is “Rolling Out”

ORANGE COUNTY – The final school bell is about to ring at schools across Orange County. Children will flood onto school busses for the last time this year ready for the less structured joy and exciting experiences that summer can bring. However, for the over 30,000 children in Orange County who qualify for free and reduced priced lunch during the school year, the threat of hunger is greater during the summer months. Thankfully, community partners and agencies have been gearing up to address this need with food and fun across the county since April. The sponsors of the Summer Food Service Program have been planning and preparing to bring nearly 75,000 FREE meals to various kid-friendly locations throughout the county so that Orange County familiescan enjoy the freedom of summer knowing their children are eating healthy and being active.

By offering nutritious foods at summer locations in Newburgh, Middletown and Port Jervis children learn how to build a healthy plate and establish healthy eating habits that may continue into adulthood. Many of the locations offer more than food, they offer educational activities, friends and a true sense of community. Shayna Russo, Project Manager of Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Eat Smart New York Hudson Valley Regional Program stated “It’s amazing to see community partners come together and work with others to bring literacy, games, activities and all sorts of youth friendly programming to so many within the county.”

Come and see firsthand how the Summer Food Service Program assists in helping children not only learn and grow, but stay active and healthy as well. We invite you to embark on a fun filled “lunch break” with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Eat Smart New York Program, Newburgh Enlarged City School District and community agencies as we celebrate “Meals And Wheels”

* Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019 11AM-1:00PM at Newburgh South Middle School, 33-63 Monument St, Newburgh, NY – Youth will have food, fun and friends as they visit various activity stations, play games and leave with prizes aimed at encouraging healthy habits.

The Summer Food Service Program sites and times vary throughout the county. Families are encouraged to call 1-866-348-6479 or Text FOOD to 877-877 to find out more about all the Summer Food Service Programs being offered in your area. For a list of some of the Hudson Valley locations please visit
Background Information on Summer Meals Program:

* Meals are FREE to children and teens ages 18 and younger who come to a summer meals site

* Food served follows USDA nutrition guidelines and is paid for by the USDA

*Summer meals sites are at schools, churches, community centers and other places that are safe for kids and teens

* Parents don’t need to apply to the program to get a free summer meal for their kids. They can just bring their child to a summer meals site in their community.

* Families can text FOOD to 877-877 or call 866-3HUNGRY to find a summer meals site in their neighborhood.

About Cornell Cooperative Extension & Eat Smart New York
Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County enables people to improve their lives and communities by bringing local experience and researched-based solutions together. Cornell Cooperative Extension provides equal programming and employment opportunities. Please contact the Cornell office if you have any special needs.Eat Smart New York (ESNY) Nutrition Education is FREE to all individuals who qualify for and/or receive benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). ESNY provides nutrition education materials and sponsors education events and classes in local communities on a variety of nutrition topics. ESNY is a USDA funded program.

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