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Nourishing Kids Through the 2022 Summer Food Service Program

colorado food bank volunteers preparing meals
Every day, Food Bank of the Rockies volunteers pack upwards of 1,700 nourishing meals and snacks for kids. / Photo by Caitlyn Barnett

Ensuring that children in our community have enough to eat is always a top priority for Food Bank of the Rockies, and meeting that need becomes an even more prescient challenge during the summer months.

“Currently, one in seven kids in Colorado are projected to be food insecure,” said Cindy Mitchell, vice president of programs at Food Bank of the Rockies. “All kids should have the opportunity to obtain nutritious, delicious food and should never have to worry about where they will get their next meal.”

To make sure the children in our community continue to have access to food when school is out of session, we partner with the USDA Summer Food Service Program,  which provides parents and caregivers access to free, nutritious meals for children and teenagers. Simply enter your ZIP Code into the official Summer Meal Site Finder or text “FOOD or ENGLISH” or “COMIDA or SPANISH” to 304-304 to locate all the pick-up sites near you. (Note: The language you first use to text will be the language used to communicate with you moving forward.)

As a participating sponsor of this program, Food Bank of the Rockies provides upwards of 2,900 nutritious meals and snacks daily to Hunger Relief Partners to distribute to kids facing hunger across the Metro Denver region, Eastern Plains, and Western Slope.

If your organization is interested in partnering with Food Bank of the Rockies to provide summer meals, please complete and submit this application.

a food bank volunteer preparing SFSP meals
Food Bank of the Rockies’ team of registered dietitian nutritionists creates menus that provide nutrient-rich foods that kids will enjoy and benefit from. / Photo by Caitlyn Barnett

Quick Facts About the Summer Meals Program

Who is eligible?

Children and teens up to the age of 18.

When does the program start and end?

The program starts in June; each site has its own end date, which can be found on the Summer Meal Site Finder.

What does it cost?

All meals from the USDA Summer Food Service Program are free and available to all youth ages 18 and under.

Where can I get a meal?

Enter your ZIP Code into the Summer Meal Site Finder or text “FOOD or ENGLISH” or “COMIDA or SPANISH” to 304-304 to locate all the pick-up sites near you. (Please note that Food Bank of the Rockies does not provide meals at our distribution centers. The language you request/text in will be the language used to communicate with you moving forward.)

What does a typical meal look like provided by Food Bank of the Rockies?

Food Bank of the Rockies follows the USDA meal pattern for child nutrition program guidelines. Below are examples of what a meal could look like:

Fresh Cold Meals: These come in unitized, sealed plastic trays. Must be refrigerated prior to serving. list of fresh and cold meals

Shelf-stable “Super Snack” Meals: These come preassembled and packaged for sites with limited refrigeration and storage capacity.

list of shelf stable snacks

When children have access to nutritious food, they can focus on studying, playing, and just being kids. Food Bank of the Rockies is committed to ensuring each and every child in our community has enough food to eat year-round so that they can thrive. Help us ignite the power of community to nourish children facing hunger in our community today by volunteering with us or donating to Food Bank of the Rockies. Thank you!


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