What to Know About the Summer Meal Program for Kids


a volunteer helping with the summer meal program

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 five children in Colorado is food insecure,” says Tami Anderson, Food For Kids manager at Food Bank of the Rockies. “I believe 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 “COMIDA” to 877-877 to locate all the pick-up sites near you.

As a participant of this program, Food Bank of the Rockies prepares around 2,000 meals and snacks daily in our commercial kitchen to distribute across the Metro Denver region through several of our Mobile Pantries as well through the support of our Hunger Relief Partners.

“The Mobile Pantry program has been a great outlet to help distribute the summer meals, as it allows us the freedom to reach communities where there is a high number of families who rely on free and reduced-cost lunch during the year, but don’t have another option during the summer,” says Kate Budd, Mobile Pantry Representative.

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?

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 “COMIDA” to 877-877 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 only exception is that we distribute meals on the third Saturday of each month at 10700 E 45th Ave, Denver, CO 80239. Please use the Summer Meal Site Finder to find a meal site near you.)

What does a typical meal look like?

  • Food Bank of the Rockies and its partners follow the USDA meal pattern for child nutrition program guidelines. Below are examples of what a meal could look like:

summer food service program options

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.


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