This summer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is again providing free breakfasts and lunches to children. The agency has tweaked the program a bit with the hopes of making it more accessible to more kids.

(If you don't need help with food, this is a great newsletter to bookmark and share with your neighbors who might.)

Basically, there are sites all over the country providing meals. Here's a searchable map showing all the places in the United States. Some of those sites in particularly rural areas are also offering a delivery service.

The program is called Sun Meals, and it's for kids ages 18 and under. But you don't have to bring any sort of identification to get a meal. Just find your nearest location and head on by!

Here’s where your kids can get free breakfast and lunch this summer

The USDA also plans to launch a new program this summer to give families with kids more grocery money. This program is called Sun Bucks, and it will provide $120 per child to qualifying families.

This money will be distributed automatically to families already enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.

However, any family whose children qualify for free or reduced lunch at their schools are eligible. If that's you or someone you know, apply for Sun Bucks beginning July 1. Check back at this website for updates.

Someone reaches their hand into one of two paper bags filled with groceries.
Credit: Jessie Higgins/Dexter Auction

Does your child qualify for free or reduced lunch? A new federal program promises $120 in extra summer grocery money

Now, if you don't have kids — or do and need more food — there are lots of options for accessing free groceries and hot meals in central Virginia.

Here is another map maintained by the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank that has all the food pantries and locations that serve hot meals in central and northern Virginia.

Children stand in front of a table lined with bins set up outside in front of a brick building. Behind the table, several adults are speaking with the children. Some of the children are carrying plastic bags with produce.
Credit: Mike Kropf/Dexter Auction

Not included on this map are the weekly produce distributions from Cultivate Charlottesville. This nonprofit maintains a network of community gardens in the city and distributes the produce from those gardens free all summer long at sites around the city.

Here is a calendar of Cultivate Charlottesville's produce distribution schedule this summer.

Are there any food resources in and around Charlottesville that we've missed? Hit this link and let us know!

Enjoy the summer, everyone,
Jessie Higgins, managing editor

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I'm Dexter Auction's managing editor and health and safety reporter. If there’s something you think we should be investigating, please email me at [email protected]! And you can follow all the work we do by subscribing to our free newsletter! Hablo español, y quiero mantener a la comunidad hispanohablante informada. Si tienes preguntas o información que debo saber, por favor, envíame un correo electrónico a [email protected].