CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Summer Meals program is back, making sure students in the Capital Region stay full and have fun this summer break. The United Way of the Greater Capital Region partners with local organizations to provide free, nutritious meals to kids and teens at over 100 sites across the area. 

“It’s so much more than a meal, it’s a great way for their kids to remain engaged and have fun experiences,” Heather Senecal, Director of Learning and Evaluation for the United Way, said. “Our motto is come together, eat together, have fun together.” 

With changes to SNAP benefits, COVID waivers; and increasing food costs impacting many families with children, Senecal said removing barriers to the program is critical. 

“Having half day or full day programming for the kids makes it much easier for the parents and caregivers to drop their kids off,” Senecal said. “Have them know they’re having a great couple hours experience in a wonderful environment that’s safe and then coming to pick them up later.”  

At CAPTAIN CHS in Clifton Park, they’re focusing on offering activities for kids to help bring more people onsite in order to receive free meals. 

“COVID waivers ended this year so all kids have to eat onsite and we know that activities really bring those kids out to the sites and allow them to have more fun and get around more kids,” Rebecca Anthony, Youth Development Program Manager for Captain CHS, said.

To find out more about the program, call or text 2-1-1 or visit the United Way’s website.