I remember the first day I learned that white was not a good color for me to wear. I was sitting in PS49 having my free summer lunch and I dropped ketchup from my “meatless” hamburger all over the front of myself. I used to remove the burger meat and just eat the buns because even then I was a food snob and still am a food slob. My favorite meals were morning pancakes, meat ravioli, tater tots and the occasional strawberry milk. My Mom, who worked for homeless services, stressed how important the program is for kids who rely on public school meals during the school year and might not eat as well when school is out. I think she personally appreciated that it gave her a break from us.

To find out where to send your kids for a free meal nearby, either call 311 (it actually is a really effective service) or text “NYCMEALS” to 877-877. I never thought I would be able to text NYC, but I did and in moments they ask for my address and sent me a list of locations, including McCarren Park Pool (776 Lorimer St) & Greenpoint Reformed Church (136 Milton St.)

The only requirements for a free meal: you are a kid!

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