Summer food programs in OC ensure children won’t go hungry when schools are closed

More than 250,000 students throughout the county rely on free or reduced-price meals provided by their schools.

But what happens when OC campuses close for the summer?

Students eating in a cafeteria

Dareen Khatib, manager of OCDE’s Nutrition and Wellness Services team, tells us there are a number of summer food programs that help bridge the gap, offering free, nutritious meals for children and teens up to age 18.

In fact, more than 150 sites throughout Orange County are serving meals to students in need this summer, and it’s easy to find a location near you. Simply text “Food” to 877-877 and follow the prompts.

“Studies show that during the summertime, kids are at a higher risk for both hunger and obesity,” Khatib says. “Summer meals ensure access to nutritious meals in a safe space where kids can also engage in educational and recreational activities to help them go back to school ready to learn.”

Participating summer food programs are designed to make it convenient for families, she says, with no registration, application or income verification required.

For more information, visit, or call 855-2-FeedOC or 855-233-3362.