Media Release: Maine DOE Launches ‘Hot Lunch Summer’ to Provide Children With Nutritious Meals Beyond the School Year 

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) announced the return of Hot Lunch Summer, the state’s summer food service program which provides free meals to children beyond the school year. These meals are available at hundreds of sites across Maine and families can locate nearby meal opportunities on the Hot Lunch Summer website or by texting ‘Summer Meals’ to 914-342-7744.

“Hot Lunch Summer ensures that Maine children can continue to access the healthy and nutritious meals they rely on during the school year,” said Maine Education Commissioner Pender Makin. “No child should worry about going hungry when the school year ends, and we thank the schools and organizations that have stepped up to make the distribution of these meals possible.”

Maine’s Summer Food Service Program is a U.S. Department of Agriculture program offered statewide in areas or at sites where more than 50 percent of the children are eligible for free or reduced meal benefits under the National School Lunch Program or where census track data supports the need. Free meals are provided to children 18 and younger at open meal sites. Eligible sponsoring organizations include schools, nonprofit residential summer camps, government agencies, and tax-exempt organizations including faith-based organizations. This year, rural meal sponsors may offer free meals offsite to further assist in reaching children who are unable to access congregate meal programs.

The Maine DOE launched Hot Lunch Summer last year as a statewide ad campaign to raise awareness of summer meal options and clearly explain the logistics of where, when, and how Maine children and adolescents can access complementary meals. This year, the campaign focuses on reaching households through social media networks and includes an animated video to promote summer meal opportunities which you can view here.

To find nearby summer meal sites, please visit or text “Summer Meals” to 914-342-7744.


In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English.  Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible State or local Agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

(1)       mail:

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or

(2)       fax:

(833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or

(3)       email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

The Maine Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination because of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, religion, ancestry or national origin.

Complaints of discrimination must be filed at the office of the Maine Human Rights Commission, 51 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333-0051. If you wish to file a discrimination complaint electronically, visit the Human Rights Commission website at and complete an intake questionnaire. Maine is an equal opportunity provider and employer.