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St. Louis programs connect kids with free meals all summer

Children 18 and under can have free breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the summer at dozens of locations across the city.
Credit: Timothy Masters - stock.adobe.co

ST. LOUIS — The school year has come to an end, but the City of St. Louis is making sure kids' access to nutritional food lasts through the summer.

There are two free programs now underway, giving families options throughout the city.

St. Louis Public Library meal program

The St. Louis Public Library has partnered with Operation Food Search to provide free summer meals for kids 18 and younger.

The program runs June 6-Aug. 21, and it also includes meals later in the day and on weekends at some branch locations.

Monday-Saturday 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Baden Library
8448 Church Road

Monday-Saturday 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Carpenter Library
3309 South Grand Blvd.

Monday-Saturday 1-2 p.m.
Central Library
1301 Olive Street

Monday-Sunday 3-4 p.m.
Julia Davis Library
4415 Natural Bridge Ave.

Monday-Friday 4-5 p.m.
Walnut Park Library
5760 West Florissant Ave.

More information about the summer meal program can be found on the St. Louis Public Library website.

The St. Louis County Library also has a free summer lunch program. Click here to find out more information.

Schools Out Cafe

The city's summer food program Schools Out Cafe connects children to free breakfast and lunch at more than 30 locations.

Children 18 and under can have one meal each at breakfast time and at lunchtime, from May 31 to Aug. 19. The meals meet federal nutrition guidelines, are cold and mostly turkey-based, and do not contain pork or peanut butter.

The program is a partnership between the city's Department of Human Services and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

“Good nutrition for our children is a year-round goal,” said Department of Human Services Director Yusef Scoggin in a press release announcing this year's program. “The Department of Human Services is committed to helping make sure children don’t go hungry this summer with Schools Out Cafe.” 

All the available sites, held at city nonprofits and recreation centers, are viewable in the interactive map below:

All locations are also listed on the city's website, along with their hours and additional information.

Parents and guardians must arrive with their child at their chosen site during the designated time and ask for a meal. Though they may visit any site at any time, it's preferable to go to the same site each day so the site knows how many meals to order.

Anyone with more questions should contact the Youth and Family Services Division by emailing dhs-youth-family@stlouis-mo.gov or by calling 314-657-1654, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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