HONOLULU (KHON2) — For Summer 2023, the Hawaiʻi Department of Education has announced that there are 86 public schools that will be serving free meals to keiki under the age of 18 during summer school classes.

Regardless of public-school enrollment status, the HIDOE will be offering meals free of charge.

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HIDOE said that beginning in early June they will be introducing Seamless Summer Option program.

“The need for healthy nutrition doesn’t take a break over the summer months. Our summer food service programs help ensure students have access to consistent, balanced meals to benefit their bodies and minds,” Superintendent Keith Hayashi said.

This program will serve meals at 86 select public school locations Mondays through Friday. The only exception will be June 12 for King Kamehameha Day and July 4 for United States Independence Day.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is funding this SSO. It was established to ensure that keiki continue to receive nutritious meals during the summer.

“Families are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity. I want to thank our dedicated cafeteria staff, school administrators and our federal partners for making this vital program possible each year,” added Hayashi.

HIDOE said that schools can opt to serve breakfast only, or they can opt to serve lunch only or both meals.

“Parents should view serving locations and times below or call their nearest participating school directly for more details,” said HIDOE.

HIDOE said everyone will need to keep in mind that Summer meals are offered for on-campus dining only and are no longer offered in “Grab & Go” containers.

They also want folks to understand that meal recipients do not have to be enrolled at a participating school to be served and that meals will consist of solid foods.

According to HIDOE, schools that are eligible for the SSO program must have 50% or more of its regularly enrolled students qualified for free or reduced-price lunches; and it must host some type of summer program on campus.

Participating schools are listed. For special diet accommodations, please email specialdiets@k12.hi.us with as much detail as possible.

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“The SSO is a neighborhood-based program that uses site eligibility to provide nutritious meals to children during the summer months,” explained HIDOE. “It is an extension to the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program which operates during the school year.”