If you need help getting food this summer, there are over 120 locations offering food in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. No paperwork or identification is required. For free, healthy summer meals for kids and teens under 18, find locations near you by texting “Food” to 877-877 or call 1-800-984-3663.

We all know that food and housing costs continue to increase in our region. For families that rely on free and reduced-price meals for their kids during the school year, summer time can be very hard. The good news is there are programs in both San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties that provide free healthy meals to kids and teens under 18 years of age almost all summer long!

At places like the YMCA, the Boys and Girls Club, libraries, churches, community centers, school districts and public parks, kids and teens can enjoy food and fun activities with their friends and neighbors. At some locations, we’re able to provide meals to parents so that they can join their children and have fun too.

One client who received food in Mountain View, California, said: “Now I have to rent out the living room but it is really expensive, and sometimes we run out of money for food. Families are forced to look for supplemental sources of income…The mobile meal program provides…some food, which allows [us] to have more disposable income to cover other expenses and not have to worry about food.”

There are many benefits for children that get free summer meals, including staying healthy and fit and remembering what they learned in school. Having nutritious meals during the summer may also lead to increased high school graduation rates and lessening the chances of getting chronic diseases.

By working with community partners, we’re able to think creatively about how to grow our programs. For example, this summer, East Side Union High School District will be expanding to six community sites, including mobile sites at three housing complexes (Valley Palms Apartments, Don De Dios Apartments, and Poco Way Apartments), the Rita Chavez-Medina Family Resource Center, and Welch Park. We’ll also be adding ten sites at local high schools in San Jose, California.

Last summer, the Mountain View Whisman School District expanded their summer meals program, distributing meals at local parks and the library. Over the course of the summer, they served over 60,000 meals to kids in Mountain View. This summer, the school district plans to serve 100,000 meals. By making it easy for families to get healthy meals outside of normal school hours and locations, the school district will be able to reach more low-income families, including those living in cars and vehicles.

*** Kids and teens under 18 can get free, healthy summer meals. Text “Food” to 877-877 or call 1-800-984-3663 to find locations where you are. Click here for general food resources like groceries.