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News Release - Partners needed to ensure kids and teens have access to free meals this summer

Jan. 27, 2023

Partners needed to ensure kids and teens have access to free meals this summer

DENVER -- Colorado's Summer Meals Program seeks sponsors, sites and state partners to continue to ensure youth receive healthy meals during the summer months when school is out of session. 

Last summer, more than 2 million meals were served to youth 18 and younger at 659 sites operated under the state's Summer Meals Program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the Colorado Department of Education's School Nutrition Unit.

CDE, the Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger and Hunger Free Colorado are working together to expand the program to reach more kids and teens by increasing awareness of the program and providing more resources and training to existing and new program sponsors. 

According to the 2022 KIDS COUNT in Colorado! report, at points during the pandemic nearly two in five households with children were not eating enough food because the food was unaffordable. Moreover, in summer USDA waivers that had expanded access to meals had expired. 

“Summer can be a challenging time for youth who have lost access to school breakfast and lunch,” said Marc Jacobson, CEO of Hunger Free Colorado. “Keeping children fueled through the summer months with no-cost, healthy meals ensures they return to school ready to learn and builds a strong foundation to help them grow and thrive.” 

To learn more or to become a sponsor or state partner or to offer a new site, visit the School Nutrition's Summer Food Service webpage.

To learn more about the Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger, visit
To learn more about Hunger Free Colorado, visit  

About the Summer Meals Program: 

  • Meals are free to all kids and teens 18 years and younger.
  • Parents do not need to apply to the program for their children to get free summer meals.
  • Organizations that can administer the Summer Meals Program include schools, non-profit organizations, government entities, camps, universities, and community and faith-based organizations.
  • Parents and youth can find summer meal sites by texting FOOD or COMIDA to 304-304 or visit

Meals served follow USDA nutrition guidelines.