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How to Get Free School Meals During the Coronavirus Closures

With so many schools closing around the United States, I’m concerned about families who rely on school meals.

School meals are so important for low income families. According to the School Nutrition Association, more than 22 million children rely on free or reduced-price school meals as their main source of nutrition.

Many schools and businesses are also recognizing the hardship that has been placed on families during this time. We’ve found accommodations being made in several areas across the United States!

Alabama

Alabama State Department of Education has released guidelines instructing schools to serve meals to children ages 18 and under in a grab-and-go setting. Meals cannot be consumed on-site.

Birmingham City Schools have grab-and-go meals for students at multiple locations.

Etowah County Schools have free meals for students.

Montgomery Public Schools serve pickup meals on Mondays and Wednesdays. The meals received will cover breakfast and lunch until the next pickup day. There are 16 locations throughout Montgomery County.

St. Clair County Schools have free breakfasts and lunches for all children ages 18 and under.

Alaska

Anchorage School District is providing meals on-site. Students need to be present, or ID cards need to be presented by a parent. Each day, a student can receive a breakfast and lunch meal. They also have bus routes established to help people access these meals.

Fairbanks North Star Borough School District provides cold meals with heating instructions. Distribution occurs at school buses, not buildings. Parents are asked to bring bags or boxes to carry the meals.

Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District is also providing meals. If you have an allergy or nutritional restriction, you are encouraged to call in advance.

Arizona

The Arizona Food Bank Network has announced that parents can text FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877 to find the nearest distribution location.

Alahambra School District has pledged to provide breakfast and lunches until students return to school.

Buckeye Elementary School District has breakfast and lunches available at three locations.

Chandler Unified School District has curbside meals for breakfast and lunch at two locations in Chandler.

Dysart Unified School District has grab-and-go meals at five locations.

Fowler Elementary School District is delivering meals along a school bus route.

Gilbert Public Schools has grab-and-go meals for all children under the age of 18. Meals can be picked up at six locations.

Glendale Elementary School District has grab-and-go curbside meals. Two meals are provided at a time.

Isaac School District has breakfasts and lunches during the duration of the closure.

Litchfield Elementary School District has grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches on weekdays.

Mesa Public Schools is providing lunches at the elementary school. When you pick up lunch, you’ll also receive a breakfast item for the next day.

Pendergast School District will provide breakfast and lunch to students. Meals are served at the entrance to the cafeterias and along bus routes.

Phoenix Union High School District has issued a notice here.

Roosevelt School District offers free meal pickup at 16 locations.

Queen Creek Unified School District has grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches for all QC students are ages 18 and under.

Scottsdale Unified School District has pick-up items that include two meals.

Arkansas

Free meals are available at the following locations:

  • Bentonville High School
  • Elkins School District
  • Farmington Schools
  • Fayetteville Public Schools Outback Pantry
  • FFS Bus Delivery
  • Helen Tyson Middle School in Springdale
  • Owl Creek School in Fayetteville
  • Springdale Schools (all locations)

California

California has urged schools to offer meals on a grab-and-go basis with minimal contact between staff, volunteers and families.

Los Angeles Unified School District has 60 grab-and-go meal sites, where families can pick up two meals per day.

Oakland United School District – Through a partnership with No Kid Hungry, drivers are being hired to stock community food distribution centers. Families can go to these centers to pick up free meals for their kids. Grab and go meals are also available Monday through Thursday. Check the website for updates and how Shelter in Place affects these options.

Sacramento County Schools are providing free meals during the closure. Here’s a helpful map.

San Diego County Schools are also providing meals. Here’s a list.

San Francisco Unified School District will provide free meals to all children 18 and younger during the school closure. 

Colorado

Adams County 12 offers meals at five locations.

Boulder Valley School District makes food available on certain days. Please contact them for dates and locations.

Colorado Springs area students can pick up meals at whatever location is most convenient. Here’s a map.

Denver Public Schools are offering free grab-and-go meals at 11 locations.

Pinnacle Charter Schools are offering 12 delivery locations near Pinnacle School Bus stops.

Connecticut

For a comprehensive list of Connecticut free meal sites for children, please visit this article in the Hartford Courant.

Delaware

Florida

In keeping with social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the state of Florida has activated Summer BreakSpot to make sure kids don’t go hungry during school closures.

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

According to Governor Pritzker, the state has received the needed waivers to continue offering two meals per day to students who are eligible for free or reduced lunches. Local districts are responsible for contacting families with information about how to receive those meals.

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Manna Food Center in partnership with No Kid Hungry is providing emergency meals for kids during school closures.

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

A mobile meal dispatch and drop-off service is being formed in Jackson. This service will provide breakfast and dinner meals for families while schools and other services are closed. The program is a combined effort by the UMMC Surgery Department, Association of Women Surgeons, UMMC Medical Students, City of Jackson, Jackson Meals Matter Task Force, Jackson Fire Department, the People’s Advocacy Institute and Strong Arms of Jackson.

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

Jersey City Public Schools will feed kids from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.. Any Jersey City resident 18 or under can stop by 18 locations for free breakfast and lunch.

New Mexico

Governor Michelle Grisham has said that the cafeterias will remain open even when the schools are closed and that meals will be delivered to children who can’t get to them.

New York

New York City Public Schools are providing three meals a day for free.

North Carolina

We have confirmed that meals are available at the following schools:

New Hanover County

  • Rachel Freeman School of Engineering
  • Castle Hayne Elementary School
  • Wrightsboro Elementary School
  • Mary C. Williams Elementary School
  • Pine Valley Elementary School
  • Sunset Park Elementary School
  • D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy at UNCW
  • Emma B Trask Middle School
  • College Park Elementary School
  • Snipes Academy of Arts & Design
  • New Hanover High School
  • Alderman Elementary School
  • Winter Park Elementary School
  • Mary Washington Howe Pre-K Center

Meals will also be distributed at the Brigade Boys & Girls Club’s Teen Center and the Houston Moore Housing Authority on weekdays. Students may receive two meals per day while schools are closed.

Bladen County

  • Bladen Lakes Primary
  • Bladenboro Middle
  • Clarkton School of Discovery
  • East Arcadia Elementary
  • Elizabethtown Middle
  • Tar Heel Middle
  • West Bladen High

Brunswick County

  • North Brunswick High School
  • South Brunswick High School
  • West Brunswick High School

Columbus County

Columbus County schools are distributing breakfast and lunch during certain hours.

Pender County Schools

Meal pickup will be available at all 18 school sites during certain hours.

North Dakota

Ohio

Ohio schools have received a waiver allowing them to provide grab-and-go meals or other forms of assistance to low income families.

Columbus City Schools are offering free meals to all children during the three-week closure. Again, this is for all children and not just students. Pre-packaged meals will be distributed at 13 schools around the city beginning on Tuesday, March 17. Locations and hours can be found here.

Oklahoma

Oregon

Oregon schools are authorized by the state to offer grab-and-go meals or other forms of assistance to low income families.

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

Greenville County Schools are providing breakfast and lunch to students during the school closure. Pick- up sites and details are listed on the link provided.

Beaufort County Schools The district is offering free meals on weekdays to all students. For additional info, visit here.

Jasper County School District Read about the district’s “grab-n-go” lunch initiative online here

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Lynchburg City Schools will serve breakfast and lunch to all children 18 and under regardless of income. See pick-up locations in link.

Washington

Seattle Public Schools is planning to set up tents with sack lunches for affected students. It is expected that these will be available beginning on Monday, March 16.

West Virginia

US Senator Joe Manchin has assured his constituents that there are plans in the works to provide meals to the 120,000 children in West Virginia that rely on them. Details are unavailable yet.

Cabell County Schools have declared that they will be providing “Gram & Go” student meal sites throughout the county. Any child age 18 and under can receive a free bagged meal every weekday. The next day’s breakfast is included with every lunch.

Wisconsin

Wyoming

Nicole leads the Low Income Relief team with over 20 years of professional research and writing experience. Nicole started Low Income Relief after a personal experience with poverty. When her husband was medically discharged from the US Army, their family experienced tremendous financial hardship. Nicole was able to gather help from multiple community agencies and move into a nearby low income housing unit in just two weeks! Since then, Nicole has been dedicated to helping low income families in crisis. She regularly spends hundreds of hours combing through countless resources to make sure that Low Income Relief has the most comprehensive and complete resource directories on the internet today. Prior to starting Low Income Relief, Nicole worked as a novelist, journalist, ghostwriter and content creator. Her work has been featured in various print and online publications, including USA Today, eHow, Livestrong, Legal Beagle, The Daily Herald, The Chronicle and more.