Free Summer Meals For Local Students

Local summer meal programs step in to provide support throughout the summer!

By Brittany Marsh, Publisher of Macaroni KID Gardner-Spring Hill-Paola May 31, 2024

School’s out for the summer! This means no more classes, homework, or tests. However, for certain students, the absence of school also means no more assured meals. During summer vacation, many children lose the access to free and reduced meals that they depend on during the school year. To bridge the gap, there are various community programs set up to provide support throughout the summer.

To locate a site near you, please visit Summer Meals for Kids Site Finder or call the National Hunger Hotline toll-free number 1‐866‐3‐HUNGRY (for English) or 1-877-8-HAMBRE (for Spanish). You can also text “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 304-304 to receive an automated response from No Kid Hungry.

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Gardner: Free lunch pick up is from 11am-1pm Monday-Thursday with two convenient locations, Wheatridge Middle School and Grand Star Elementary. This program is available to those ages 1-18, from June 3-July 25 (with no service on June 19th or July 1-5). 

Spring Hill/De Soto: Beginning June 3rd, there will be multiple options available. In addition to grab-n-go lunch, free breakfasts will also be available. While there won't be provided meals on Fridays, they will distribute take-home breakfast and lunch meal kits during Thursday meal service through the summer. 

Eudora: This summer, Feeding Eudora is offering complimentary community lunches! Picnic lunches will be served at CPA Park every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, from noon to 1:00 pm, starting May 22nd and running through August 9th. 

Lawrence: There are a handful of summer meal programs available for students of USD 497. 

La Cygne: Summer lunches begin June 3rd and will be available Monday-Friday 12-12:30 in the Great Room at the La Cygne Public Library.

The Resource Bus from Catholic Charities Northeast Kansas supply food, diapers, hygiene and other seasonal items. Based on their current route schedule, you may find them on Wednesdays at the following locations: 

  • ECKAN | 132 East 5th Avenue, Garnett, KS | 9:30am-1:30pm
    May 22, July 17, August 28, October 16, November 27 
  • Elizabeth Layton Center | 204 East 15th Street, Ottawa, KS 66067 | 9:30am-1:30pm
    May 15, June 26, August 21, October 2, November 20 
  • Osawatomie Public Library | 527 Brown Avenue, Osawatomie, KS 66064 | 1:00pm-4:00pm
    May 1, June 19, August 7, September 25, November 6

Catholic Charities also has a summer meal program for kids. Check out their website for more information!