USDA summer meals program provides nutritious, free meals across Minnesota

Published 5:21 pm Tuesday, July 11, 2023

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The Minnesota Department of Education is proud to support the 130 schools and community organizations that will provide meals and snacks at almost 500 meal sites across Minnesota this summer.

For families who depend on school meals to nourish their children during the school year, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Summer Food Service Program helps close the nutrition gap and supports academic achievement by providing access to healthy meals so students can return to school in the fall ready to learn.

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is a federal nutrition program funded by the USDA and administered by the Minnesota Department of Education. Eligible participants include children ages 18, and under or those over 18 with mental or physical disabilities who participate in school programs. Most sites can offer up to two meals per child per day between breakfast, lunch, snack and supper. All meals and snacks must be eaten on site.

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“The Summer Food Service Program supports children and families by providing nutritious meals and snacks to children who need them when schools are out for the summer,” said Education Commissioner Willie Jett. “Thank you to all our school and community sites for opening up during the summer months to help families meet the basic needs of our students outside of the school year.”

Find summer meal sites near you by using these resources:

• Download the Free Meals for Kids app in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store or visit the Summer Eats Minnesota website. This mobile app shows Minnesota kids where they can find no-cost meals this summer.

• Visit the Summer Meal Site Locator tool released by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.

• Call the 2-1-1 Hotline, or, from your mobile phone in the Twin Cities metro area, call 651-291-0211. In greater Minnesota, call 1-800-543-7709, or TTY at 651-291-8440.

• Call the Minnesota Food HelpLine at 1-888-711-1141 or visit the Hunger Solutions website and fill out a form reporting your food needs. The HelpLine hours are Monday – Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Text “food” to 304-304. For Spanish, text “comida” to 304-304.

• View the SFSP Participation Report to find a list of all Summer Food sites.

To learn more, please visit the Summer Food Service Program website or contact MDE Food and Nutrition Services (, or call at 651-582-8526 or 1-800-366-8922 (toll-free).