Food Service for Parents and Students

Students eating lunch

Free Summer Meals 2024

Even when school is out, you can still enjoy free breakfast and lunch! Our 2024 Free Summer Meals Program is here for you all across New York City, and it's totally free for anyone who's 18 years old or younger. You can find these meals at specific places like select NYC Public Schools, community pool centers, parks, and libraries. And guess what? You don't need to sign up, show any papers, or have an ID to get these meals. Just head to one of our spots and enjoy a delicious breakfast and lunch. Have a great summer filled with good food and fun!

Support School Funding

You do not need to apply for your child to receive meals. However, we do ask families to complete Family Income Inquiry Form, which helps schools receive money for their programs. Your school will send a copy of this form home with your child, or you can get it from your school’s main office.

Menus

We offer free breakfast, lunch, and afterschool meals to all NYC Public School students during the school year. Use the Find A School tool (Search the school and look under Free Student Meals) or speak to your School Food Service Manager to discover what menus are being served at your school. Visit our menu page to learn more about our standards and how we develop menus. 

Nutritional Standards

Our goals to ensure students of all ages and backgrounds have access to tasty, nutrient-rich meals that enhance their learning experiences. Seeing students succeed in school and beyond is what drives our passion to serve high-quality meals. Our meals meet and exceed USDA standards for school meals. We also adhere to NYC Food Standards  for purchasing and set internal standards such as our prohibited ingredients list. View our menu nutrition information for a detailed breakdown of every item offered at school.

Menu Standards

Our meals are evaluated through a USDA-certified nutritional database. We also provide an extensive nutrition evaluation considering calories, fat, sodium, total sugars, added sugars, protein, cholesterol, iron, calcium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. Our menu is completely pork-free. All hamburgers are 100% beef. Our chicken is certified antibiotic free and humanely raised.

Vegetarian and Vegan Options 

Our daily offered menu options support students with allergy restrictions, vegetarian and vegan preferences, and religious restricted diets.. Menu items and recipes indicated with a (V) are vegetarian and (VE) are vegan. Mondays and Fridays are citywide meatless menu days. 

Fruit and Vegetables 

Fresh fruits and vegetables are offered daily throughout our menus and salad bars. We serve a variety of vegetables from five different subgroups (dark green, red-orange, beans-legumes, starchy, and others), ensuring our students receive a diverse nutrient profile.

Fiber 

All bread and grains offered are at least 51% whole grain-rich and contain at least 2g of fiber per serving. 

Water

Water is part of a healthy diet and available during all meal programs. Water fountains or refrigerated water jets are located in school cafeterias for students to enjoy.

Sustainable and Local Food 

OFNS is continuously looking for products that sustain our food and ecosystem. We serve our food on compostable and biodegradable plates. 

Seasonality

OFNS is consistently utilizing fresh fruit and produce based on the seasonality. Please refer to the menu for featured fresh fruit and produce offered.

Food Allergen Awareness 

We want to ensure that your child receives the best care possible at school. That’s why we treat allergies, food safety, and student health with the utmost importance and work with parents at their request to create management plans for their child, so they are less likely to be exposed to allergens in school. We cannot guarantee a nut-free, milk-free, or allergen-free environment, but we do offer product documentation at request on all food items from vendors and manufacturers regarding allergens present within the food itself or at the facility level. Please provide a specific item list when requesting allergen information and product documentation. Visit our allergies webpage to learn more about our policies and forms.

Food Allergen Information Product Labels 

All food items can be supported with product documentation from vendors and/or manufacturers regarding allergens present within the food itself or at the facility level.

Product/nutrition labels are available upon request. Parents can request labels and further information about our menu items. Please provide a specific item list when requesting allergen information product documentation.

Allergen Accommodations at the Point of Service

If a request is made at the point of service by a student or para-professional/teacher/school nurse (on student’s behalf), it will be honored by OFNS staff within reason. 

  • Example: No cheese on fish sandwich or no bun with burger 

OFNS staff are not responsible for tracking or monitoring students with food sensitivities and allergies.

Dietary Medical Accommodations

For severe allergies, an action plan and menu may be required to accommodate dietary needs. This request will be supported through a Medical Accommodations (504) Request Form or Individualized Education Program (IEP). Parent/guardian should provide all necessary documentation to the school for the accommodation.

School Administration can Email requests to OFNSMealAccomodations@schools.nyc.gov with supporting documentation. For a 504 Accommodation, please include the 504 Coordinator, Principal, School Nurse, and School Food Service Manager. A Teams meeting will be scheduled to discuss the action plan and parameters of the dietary accommodation.

Milk Options

Under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, milk must be available to students as part of their meal. We provide low fat milk, non-fat milk, and non-fat chocolate milk. Children who cannot consume milk due to a dairy allergy or lactose intolerance may receive a milk substitute (soy or lactose-free milk). Medical documentation is required before accommodation can be made.

Students who cannot consume milk due to a dairy allergy or lactose intolerance may receive a milk alternative: soy milk or lactose-free milk. Our milk alternatives comply with USDA’s nutrition standards for fluid milk. Medical documentation to support a milk alternative request is required.

The Alternative Milk Form is required to be completed by the parent/guardian or school nurse. Both documents may be submitted by parent/guardian to the School Nurse. Documentation is required for the School Food Service Manager to order the milk alternative for the student.

Kosher Meal Service Request

Kosher meals are available upon request. Please speak with your school administration to identify a need for kosher meal service at your school.

Halal Meal Service Request

Select Halal options are available at every school. Expanded Halal menus and services are available upon request. To request expanded service, speak with your school administration or School Food Service Manager.

DOH Reports

The NYCDOH inspects all school cafeterias and kitchens. NYC laws require that every school building is inspected at least two times per school year. Use the Find A School tool (Search the school and look under Free Student Meals) to view. 

Contact Office of Food & Nutrition Services 

For more information about our menus, nutrition information, approved foods to be sold in schools, programs, questions or comments email us at SFWebsitesuggestion@schools.nyc.gov. Please provide your name and email address when responding.