Summer Meal Meet-Ups offers free meals and activities for kids this summer
Anyone ages 18 and under can receive free and nutritious meals throughout the summer at one of more than 50 Summer Meal Meet-Ups sites in central Iowa (Dallas, Polk, and Warren Counties). Many locations also offer activities to encourage kids to stay active when school is not in session, including United Way's 5-2-1-0 programming.
“Summer Meal Meet-Ups help our community’s children continue to receive healthy food and activity outside of school, especially during a time when many kids are more isolated,” said Renée Miller, Chief Community Impact Officer at United Way of Central Iowa. “United Way’s OpportUNITY plan to fight poverty has been focused on how we ensure that children and families have access to food as a basic need in order to thrive.”
More than 40,000 students in central Iowa qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, but only about 3,000 children take advantage of free meals during the summer. A group of more than 20 partners has been working to increase awareness of meal sites among families.
Meal sites are located at schools, parks, or other organizations, and site hosts are approved by the Iowa Department of Education. Anyone up to age 18 can receive a free meal. No registration or sign up is required.
To find a meal site near you, call 2-1-1, or text “Food” to 877-877. Services are available in English and Spanish.
Summer Meal Meet-Ups is part of United Way of Central Iowa's OpportUNITY initiative. OpportUNITY unites central Iowa to fight poverty together. The collective impact initiative is raising awareness that poverty and barriers to financial stability prevent central Iowans from thriving in the community and is engaging community members in reducing poverty through advocacy, education, and work groups focused on specific issues.
Summer Meal Meet-Ups Subgroup Members
- 5-2-1-0 DSM
- Broadlawns Medical Center
- Cental Iowa Shelter & Services (CISS)
- Courage League Sports of Iowa
- Des Moines Public Schools
- EveryStep Care & Support Services
- Indianola Community School District
- Iowa Department of Education
- Johnston Community School District
- Johnston Partnership
- Opportunity on Deck
- Saydel Community School District
- South Central Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO
- Urbandale Schools
- United Way of Central Iowa
- UnityPoint Health
- Warren County Health Services
- Waukee Community School District
- West Des Moines Community School District
- Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
Funding Provided By: