Summer Meals for NYC Students: Understanding the Perspectives and Experiences of Families

Innovative Approaches & Successful Models
Best for
Nonprofit Sponsors
School Nutrition Staff
State Agencies

In 2019, free summer meals were available from more than 1,300 locations in New York City.  However, participation in these programs remains strikingly low, as is the case nationwide. While survey research has documented that many low-income families do not take advantage of summer meals programs, there has been little in-depth qualitative work exploring why. In 2019, No Kid Hungry partnered with The Research Alliance for New York City Schools at New York University to begin to address that question.  Drawing on in-depth focus groups with families from neighborhoods with high levels of food insecurity, this study provides insight into their summertime nutritional needs, as well as how summer meal programs might be more responsive to those needs.