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Mayor Bowser Highlights Programs to Support Youth and Families Throughout the Summer

Monday, June 10, 2024
Between Wednesday, June 26 and Sunday, August 25, Youth in DC Can Receive Free Summer Meals at More Than 100 Sites Across All Eight Wards

(Washington, DC) – Today, with the last day of school for students at DC Public Schools one week away, Mayor Muriel Bowser and leaders from across DC Government highlighted resources to help keep families and youth safe, healthy, and engaged over summer break, including more than 100 sites where youth will be able to access free meals. Throughout the summer, families will be able to go to to learn more about family-friendly things to do, places to go, and resources to support parents and youth.
“We know that when school is out, we have dozens of teams across DC Government and in the community who step up to help our young people have a safe and fun summer,” said Mayor Bowser. “We want everyone to help us spread the word about the resources we have available to support families, especially our free meals sites. Let’s work together to have a safe, fun, and healthy summer.” 
Throughout the summer, all youth in DC have access to free meals and snacks at more than 100 DC Youth Meals sites across all eight wards. The DC Youth Meals program is administered by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education; sites will open on Wednesday, June 26 and provide free meals through Sunday, August 25. All young people in DC 18 and younger can receive free meals at the sites with no application or ID required. Sites will be posted on

Additionally, families with eligible students can receive DC SUN Bucks, which will provide food access support for students over the summer months. DC SUN Bucks is the new benefits program replacing the summer pandemic program, Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT). Eligible students will receive a one-time $120 EBT benefit to purchase food when school is out. Some students will get these benefits automatically and do not need to apply – students receiving SNAP or TANF are preapproved. Families who are not preapproved for SUN Bucks will need to submit a short, online application. Residents can review eligibility guidelines and apply for the program at

This summer, the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) has more than 8,700 DPR camp slots across four sessions from Wednesday, June 26 through Friday, August 16. DPR still has slots available in Boost Camps, which are camps designed for youth ages 11 to 13. Learn more and register at

DPR also operates 22 outdoor pools and 32 spray parks. While pools and spray parks are currently operating on a weekend-only schedule (Saturday and Sunday), starting Monday, June 24, all full-service outdoor pools will operate on individual summer schedules, six days a week, and spray parks will operate daily from 10 am until 6 pm.

Additionally, on Friday evenings throughout the summer, DPR and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) are hosting the popular Late Night Hype series. This year, the series will offer additional activities and resources through a partnership with Beat the Streets – MPD’s premier summer outreach series. The events will bring music, dancing, food, fun, and social service agencies to communities throughout the District. Find the full calendar of Late Night Hype events at

At today’s event, the Mayor also highlighted that later this month, approximately 12,000 youth will begin their job placements through the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program at nearly 800 job sites. 
Fire and Emergency Medical Services Chief John Donnelly also shared the following water safety tips:

  • Never leave children unattended near the water.
  • Do not swim or boat while under the influence or alcohol or drugs.  
  • Do not swim the upper Potomac, the water is more powerful than you think.
  • If someone in the water needs help, first throw them a life ring; jumping in to get someone out is the last thing you do.
  • Take swimming lessons with DPR!

Find more boating safety tips at

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