Select Region
Helping Parents Make Better Decisions

Get Fun (and Safe) Family Outings for This Summer!

The NYC Department Of Ed Is Offering Free Meals for Families in NYC

The NYC Department Of Ed Is Offering Free Meals for Families in NYC

Three free meals are available per day from the NYC Department of Education at various locations throughout the city for any New Yorker who needs them.


UPDATED JUNE 12: In NYC, many children rely on the free food they get at school for each of their three nutritious meals a day. With the closing of NYC schools, it poses the question "Where will these children get their meals for the day if they are not getting them at home?" Luckily, The New York City Department of Education is offering three free meals in NYC for children every weekday at more than 400 sites across the city. The program recently expanded to offer free meals to any New Yorker in need. Here are some resources for finding free food near you:

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Food Benefits

Families of children in public school in NYC who would have received free or reduced-price school meals under the National School Lunch Act can receive up to $420 for each eligible child that can go toward groceries and provide coronavirus relief. If your family receives Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and/or Temporary Assistance benefits and you have school-age children, you will automatically receive P-EBT food benefits for each eligible school-age child in your household, which will automatically be issued to your family’s current EBT card. 

NYC Department of Education Grab & Go Meal Hubs

You can use the site lookup tool to find the DOE Grab & Go Meal Hub location nearest you.

Here’s what you need to know if you wish to pick up free meals in NYC:

  • There are more than 400 Meal Hub locations where you can pick up three free meals each day.
  • Meal Hubs are open, Monday-Friday from 7:30am-1:30pm. 
  • Children and families can pick up meals from 7:30-11:30am.
  • Parents and guardians may come alone to pick up free meals for their children.
  • Adults can get free meals from 11:30am-1:30pm. 
  • No one will be turned away at any time.
  • No registration, ID, or documentation is required.
  • All adults and children can pick up multiple meals at one time.
  • Meals must be taken to-go and eaten off premises as there is no dining space available due to social distancing efforts. 
  • Vegetarian and halal options available at all sites.
  • Free Kosher meals are available at 15 locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.
  • During Ramadan, 32 DOE Grab & Go sites across the five boroughs that have large Muslim populations  will have a significantly increased supply of Halal meals.

Dates, locations, and menus are subject to change, and you can view free breakfast menu and free lunch menus for the month online. 



NYC Food Delivery Assistance

New York City is also providing assistance to New Yorkers during the COVID-19 crisis by delivering meals to those who cannot access food themselves

This service is available for households that meet the following criteria: 

  • No one in the household can go out to get food because they are at increased medical risk or are homebound.
  • There are no neighbors or family members who can go out and get food for you.
  • You do not already receive meal assistance from other providers (including Meals on Wheels or God's Love We Deliver).
  • You are unable to afford a meal delivery or grocery delivery service.

Emergency Food Assistance in NYC 

To find the nearest food pantries and community kitchens, call the Emergency Food Hotline at 866-888-8777 or call 311. You can also find locations offering free meals near you using the Get Food NYC map.

Want more content like this? Receive our Scoop packed with great ideas

Related Articles:

Melissa Wickes

Author: Melissa Wickes, a graduate of Binghamton University and the NYU Summer Publishing Institute, is the production editor for NYMetroParents. When she's not writing, she can be found playing the guitar or eating pasta. See More

Featured Listings:

Palisades Climb Adventure

Palisades Climb Adventure

West Nyack, NY Get ready to experience the World’s tallest indoor ropes course standing 85 feet tall. Palisades Climb Adventure combines the thrill of challenge with...

Great Play of Syosset

Great Play of Syosset

Syosset, New York Our mission is for every child to develop a love of physical activity that will lead to an active, healthy and confident life. Starting with our Great...

Playland Amusement Park

Playland Amusement Park

Rye, NY Playland is beautifully located on the shores of Long Island Sound. We are proud to be one of Westchester's favorite recreation areas. Our visitors ex...