Free Summer Meals Available Statewide in Rhode Island
July 21, 2021
Call 2-1-1 to Find Free Meal Sites in Your Community
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Governor Dan McKee and Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green announced that the Summer Food Service Program is underway at more than 200 program sites across Rhode Island communities, where free meals will be served to students this summer.
“It’s our responsibility as a state to ensure that no child goes hungry,” said Governor Dan McKee. “The Summer Food Service Program is an important part of our plan to keep our kids happy and healthy throughout the summer. These meal pickup points will not only help us fight child hunger, but they will be places for our communities to gather, engage, and thrive post-pandemic.”
Communities must have 50 percent of students eligible for free and reduced price lunch in order to be eligible to participate in the program. Meals provided through the summer program, however, are available at no cost to all children ages 18 and under, with no eligibility criteria, no forms for families to fill out, and no proof of residency or address required. Families can find their summer meals site by visiting the RIDE website
or calling 2-1-1.
“Caring and supporting our students is a 365-day-a-year commitment, and that includes making sure they have access to nutritious food so they can keep learning and growing,” said Commissioner Infante-Green. “Through the Summer Food Service Program, students can continue to get the meals they receive at school throughout the break and return ready to succeed. We are deeply thankful for the many community partners contributing their time and effort to make this possible.”
During the school year, approximately 72,000 Rhode Island students are eligible to receive meals daily through the National School Lunch program, and the Summer Food Service Program allows them to stay well-fed throughout the summer. The program saw increased participation in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic and served more than 1.9 million meals statewide from June to August.
In addition to the Summer Food Service Program, many Rhode Island families are also eligible to receive additional pandemic EBT benefits. Students who received free or reduced priced meals at their schools through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) during the 2020-2021 school year and children under the age of six who also receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits qualify for two payments this summer of $187.50.
Students and families who receive these benefits already do not need to complete any additional applications and will be issued summer P-EBT benefits automatically. Students that are not currently receiving meals through the NSLP but will be eligible are encouraged to complete a Meal Benefit application
by August 27, 2021 in order to be eligible to receive Summer P-EBT.