The Bowser Administration kicked off the DC Summer Camp and Free Summer Meals programs. The DC Free Summer Meals program helps children in low-income areas get the nutrition they need to learn, play, and grow throughout the summer months when they are out of school.
“DPR is proud to offer top quality summer programming and be the largest sponsor of the USDA’s Free Summer Meals Program in the District, the number one ranked program in the country,” said Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Director Keith A. Anderson. “During the summer, the DC Free Summer Meals Program is by far the primary resource for low-income youth, 18 and under, to receive nutritional meals. This makes our work during out-of-school times that much more critical. Our programming also ensures that children remain stimulated all summer long, to prevent academic slide when school is out of session.”
The DC Free Summer Meals Program will run from Monday, June 18 to Friday, August 17, and is open to all children in DC ages 18 and under. There is no registration, no identification, and no parental guidance required to participate. The program helps to fill the nutrition gap for low-income children who depend on free and reduced-price meals during the school year by providing nutritious meals and snacks. The summer food program is paid for through federal funding from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered in D.C. by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). Meals are served at schools, libraries, community programs, faith-based programs, and recreation centers across all eight wards.
The DC Free Summer Meals Program has been ranked the best summer food program in the country by the USDA for eleven consecutive years for reaching the highest percentage of low-income children. According to the Food Research and Action Center, the District of Columbia reached at least one child for every four low-income children in July, 2017 through the program. In 2017, nearly 300 sites across the District served more than 700,000 meals during the three-month program.
For additional sites, text FOOD to 877-877, or call 1(866) 3-Hungry (486479).
The 2018 summer camp season runs from June 18, 2018, to August 17, 2018. Most camps operate between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. each day, but hours vary by program. DPR provides a wide variety of summer camp experiences for youth ages 3 to 17 and has been doing so for more than 30 years. On average, over 5,000 children participate in DPR’s camps each summer.
Rolling registration for 2018 summer camps began in February, 2018 and ran through June 18, 2018. Camp registration and waitlists are full. If a camp space becomes available, DPR will make three attempts to notify waitlist registrants via phone and/or email to claim their space.
Reduced rates were made available for qualifying families. DPR also offers before and after care at most locations.