The school year has come to a close but the need for proper nutrition has not.

The Broome County Child Hunger Task Force is launching this year’s Free Summer Meals program.

All kids and teens under the age of 18 are eligible for the free meals. 

According to officials, 61 percent of area students are eligible for free or reduced lunches at school.

Union Endicott Schools Food Service Director Josie Henningsen says that based off of those numbers, not enough kids in need are taking advantage of the free summer meals. 

“The importance of these programs in this community is vital. Not only is it about feeding the kids but it’s educational programs as far as allowing them to make healthy choices. Also those choices can continue throughout the school year for these kids and basically it all starts with feeding them,” said Henningsen.

There are several sites located throughout Broome and Tioga County that will be serving the meals from now through through the end of August.

For information on site locations and times of operation visit