Recreation & Nutrition Drop-In Program

Recreation & Nutrition Drop-In Program

Recreation & Nutrition Program

For eight weeks each year, from the end of June through the middle of August, Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront offers a Recreation & Nutrition drop-in program every Monday-Friday.

Join us at any of our five locations:

  • Lunch  |  11:00am – 2:00pm  |  Franklin Square, Riverside, South Meadow, Andy A_Dog Williams Skatepark
  • Dinner Snack  |  5:00pm – 7:00pm  |  Franklin Square
  • Dinner  |  3:45pm – 6:00pm  |  Roosevelt Park

There are no fees or enrollment required and all staff-led activities are free. The Burlington School Food Project provides free lunch and snack for kids daily and additionally kids take weekly field trips.

A growing number of families are in need of this program. Family food budgets that rely on school breakfast and lunch are stretched in the summer and put children at risk of food insecurity. We believe a comprehensive approach is necessary to address the increasing number of families facing this risk. In response, we not only offer the same meals that children receive at school, but we are also offering nutrition education, fitness activities and opportunities to garden.

For a list of ALL the summer locations of the Burlington School Food Project — including dates, locations, and meal times call 802-864-8416 or visit

Dial 2-1-1 for statewide information on free summer lunches for kids across Vermont.

Text “mealsVT” to 8770877 for information on lunch sites nearest you.




In 2019, the program served over 6,895 free meals to Burlington youth.



  • Physical Activity
  • Nutrition Education
  • Parent Involvement
  • Community Resources


Field Trips

Designed to help participants gain a greater sense of community. Coordinators at each site collaborate to offer opportunities to discover Burlington’s beautiful parks and helpful community resources. Past trips include visits to the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Mazza’s berry picking, swimming at North Beach, reading at the Fletcher Free Library and more.



Nutrition Activities

The program’s comprehensive approach to nutrition education is comprised of daily hands on activities and nutritious meals, provided by the Burlington School Food Project that meet the USDA’s Child Nutrition Guidelines. Their mission is to connect students and their families with whole, fresh, and local foods to improve student learning about nutrition and the health of our community.




Through lessons from experienced horticulturalists, the children plan, plant, maintain and harvest the local garden at the BACG site at Starr Farm Park. These activities connect the children to their environment and the food they eat.


We could not operate at the capacity in which we do each year without our partners:

Burlington School Food Project, Burlington Housing Authority, Champlain Housing Trust, Pomerleau Family Boys & Girls Club of Burlington, Fletcher Free Library, DREAM, and the Greater Burlington YMCA.

Thank you to North Country Federal Credit Union, who has awarded the program with an annual grant since 2017.

Our program could not exist without our financial donors.  Thank you to our continued donors each year, who continue to give without asking for recognition. Make a donation today!