Capital Clicks

Summer food program locations announced

By: - June 5, 2023 11:57 am

Summer food service program locations follow meal pattern regulations to promote a healthy diet. (Photo illustration via Canva)

Free meals for Iowa children and teens 18 and younger can be found at nearly 500 locations across the state this summer.

The Iowa Department of Education announced Monday where Iowa students can find free meals after school is out for the summer. Students and families can find the nearest summer meal pickup locations using the following information:

Text “Food” or “Comida” to 304-304

Call any of these numbers:


1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479) for English 

1-877-8-HAMBRE (1-877-842-6273) for Spanish


“For Iowa kids and families who rely on school meals, summer can be the hungriest time of year, creating short- and long-term consequences for a child’s health, education and well-being,” Kala Shipley, chief of the Bureau of Nutrition and Health Services at the Iowa Department of Education said in a news release. “Making sure kids and teens have access to nutritious meals is especially important this summer.”

The summer food program is designed to feed Iowa students who rely on free or reduced-price meals during the school year, and the summer sites offer free, first-come, first-serve meals for all children and teens 18 and under. 

Many of the locations are schools, churches, community centers, parks, libraries, housing complexes and camps. 

The Summer Food Service Program is administered by the Iowa Department of Education and operated by school districts and local organizations. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Jay Waagmeester
Jay Waagmeester

Jay is a former Iowa Capital Dispatch intern. Jay is based in Ames and is currently a senior majoring in journalism and marketing at Iowa State University. He has interned at New Century Press and contributed to the Iowa State Daily.