Recreation & Nutrition Drop-In Program

Recreation & Nutrition Drop-In Program

For eight weeks each year, from the end of June through the middle of August, Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront offers a FREE Recreation & Nutrition drop-in program every Monday-Friday at several locations in Burlington. Activities include arts & crafts, STEM projects, performances, sports, aquatics, music, and educational field trips such as Shelburne Farms, ECHO, local parks, and the teaching garden at Starr Farm Park.

Schedule & Locations

Lunch 11am-2pm (Serve at 12)

  • Riverside
  • South Meadow
  • Franklin Square

Snack 3pm-5pm (Serve at 3:30)

  • CP Smith
  • Franklin Square

Dinner 4pm-6:30pm (Serve at 5)

  • Roosevelt Park

Thank you to our annual sponsor: NorthCountry Federal Credit Union


About the Recreation & Nutrition Program

We believe in a holistic approach and work with many partners in the community to provide great food and recreation opportunities. Our program has many sites around Burlington both in housing communities and local parks. We are excited to work with our partners and the community to provide a great summer!

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 2021, the program served over 11,000 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.

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!