Play in the Park and Summer Food Program



The Play in the Park and Summer Food Service Program promotes health, wellness, nutrition, and outdoor activity during the summer months for youth ages 0-18. At over 10 outdoor sites throughout the city youth can participate in activities with Play in the Park staff and access a free lunch or dinner between the hours of 11am-2pm (Mon-Fri) or 4pm-7pm (Tue & Thu). The goal is to get youth to be active, get outside, have fun and eat healthy during the summer months!

The Play in the Park and Summer Food Program has traditionally operated in the City of New Bedford for well over 10 years and in the summer of 2019 served over 90,000 meals to low-income youth in the city, in parks, playgrounds and other organized arenas that provide engaging summer programming for youth. The Play in the Park and Summer Food Program is a vital piece of City youth’s summer experience and, again, for many youth, it serves as the only nutritious meal they will have all week. The City of New Bedford Parks Recreation & Beaches facilitates and operates over 65 food sites in targeted areas throughout the city. Sites are classified as either OPEN sites which youth can walk-in to everyday or indoor sites where our department partners with a local youth organization to serve food to a summer time program. These sites are strategically located in neighborhoods across the city to maximize access for youth and/or are operated in collaboration with community partners who serve youth across the city. Annual partners in the Play in the Park and Summer Food Program are the Mayor’s Office, the New Bedford Public Schools Department, the Boys and Girls Club, the YWCA, Community Boating Center, Trips for Kids, and many other community-based agencies.


OPEN sites for 2021 (subject to change)

Lunch: 11:00am-2:00pm (Mon-Fri)

Ashley Park
Brooklawn Park
Buttonwood Park
Clasky Common Park
Eddie James Playground
Gomes School Playground
Harrington Park
Hazelwood Park
Riverside Park Playground
Ruth Street Tot lot

Dinner: 4:00pm-7:00pm  (Tue & Thu)

Magnett Park
Montes Park

Rain Sites:

Brooklawn Park
Riverside Park
West Beach Pavillion

Montes Park
Andrea McCoy Recreation Center