Free School Lunch Programs – COVID-19 Resources
Photo Credit: Maria Sbytova
The school lunch program is the second-biggest anti-hunger initiative in the country following SNAP and food stamps. While schools are cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, communities are stepping up to make sure kids have food to eat.
With thousands of school districts mobilizing across the country, the following is an attempt to collect, organize and share **some** of the information that is out there. Please contact/ click over to your local school districts for more local and up-to-date information.
NOTE: Some of the following free meal distribution programs are not just for students — if you are in need of food, please check these resources to see if you qualify to receive free meals. If not, please find your local food bank by using resources such as
LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICT FOOD PROGRAMS:
The sites in the linked map and list will be distributing meals Monday – Friday, 7:30 AM – 1:30 PM beginning Monday, March 23, 2020 – https://www.communityfoodadvocatesnyc.org/covid19
Atlanta Public Schools is providing emergency student meals at designated anchor sites offering three food service supports:
1. Breakfast and lunch grab-and-go bags
2. Fresh produce provided by local nonprofit Goodr
3. Shelf-stable foods provided by the Atlanta Community Food Bank (i.e. nonperishables)
Food distribution locations can be found here: https://www.atlantapublicschools.us/Page/62032
Michigan Department of Education map of location providing free food services — Statewide more than 730,000 students qualify for free or reduced price lunches in school because of their family income level https://www.mcgi.state.mi.us/schoolnutrition/
Milwaukee Public Schools will be providing free meals beginning Monday, March 16 between 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, Monday – Friday – https://mps.milwaukee.k12.wi.us/en/District/About-MPS/District-News/Covid-19-Updates/03-13-20-MPS-to-Provide-Free-Meals-to-Students.htm
*Not an official site** but hopefully still a helpful working, crowd-sourced map of locations distributing food to those in need:
Nutrition Services Department will continue to operate 12 pick-up locations throughout the city where “Grab and Go” breakfast and lunch meals will be available for all OUSD students or families and any Oakland child under 18.This service will continue while the regional ‘shelter in place’ order is in effect. To ensure the least amount of contact, students do not need to be present to pick up food – https://www.ousd.org/covid-19studentmeals
Los Angeles Unified School District
Los Angeles Unified, in partnership with the Red Cross, will continue to provide nutritious meals to all students who need them during the temporary closure of schools. Our 60 Grab & Go Food Centers are staffed weekdays from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Each child can take home two nutritious meals – https://achieve.lausd.net/resources
In an effort to keep students healthy, schools districts and organizations throughout the city are offering free breakfasts and lunches to students at specific locations through May 1.
Indianapolis Public Schools has partnered with Gleaners Food Bank to provide one 17-pound box of food to families. The district will deliver packages to 25 locations throughout the city on Mondays and Fridays.
IndyParks is also offering meals in various parks and other locations. Meal service runs Monday through Friday. Second Helpings is serving snacks to adults at some of these sites.
Indianapolis Public Schools compiled a list of community groups, food banks and other organizations offering meals and packaged food.
Denver Public Schools will offer free breakfast and lunch meals to students and their families at 12 locations throughout the city, weekdays from Monday, March 16 through Friday, April 17. Food will only be available in grab-and-go packaging to avoid congregating. To prioritize social distancing, families are not allowed to eat on site.
Breakfast pickup: 8-9 a.m.*
Lunch pickup: 12-1 p.m.*
DC Public Schools will be providing meals for all students
Virginia and Maryland
Some great resources here for different school districts in these states: https://wjla.com/news/local/meal-site-locations-established-in-maryland-to-feed-students-while-schools-are-closed
Boise School District will begin Grab-And-Go meal services on Monday, March 23, 2020 through March 27, 2020 (spring break) for children who need nutritious meals while schools are closed. Starting Monday and continuing through Friday, free sack meals will be available from 9:00 am to 10:00 am at the locations in this link: https://www.boiseschools.org/news/what_s_new/free_grab-_and-_go_meals_for_children