Catalytic Giving

New York City Summer Meals Program

We sought to demonstrate to New York City Government how to increase the number of free meals served to poor students. The New York City Department of Education’s Office of SchoolFood, which provides free breakfast and lunch to qualified public school students year-round, historically served hundreds of thousands fewer children over the summer than during the regular school year, despite high need. Our Summer Meals Program effort produced a 31% increase in program participation in the first year and continued significant increases in the second and third years of funding, resulting in hundreds of thousands of additional healthy meals reaching children each summer.

Our grants led to key partnerships with the New York City Housing Authority, the Parks Department, and both soup kitchens and public libraries in Brooklyn and Queens, which now support the program solely with government funds. The program has added a mobile app, SchoolFood Feed Your Mind, that allows users to view daily menus and find the nearest Summer Meals sites.

New York City Summer Meals