Here's Where To Find Free Food For Students, Families During COVID-19 School Closures

Mar 20, 2020

State and local government officials and nonprofits are working to prevent South Florida children from going hungry while public schools are closed through at least May 1 in a sweeping attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

WLRN depends on donors to remain South Florida’s leading nonprofit, most trusted source of news and information. Support our mission by giving monthly as a sustaining member of Friends of WLRN or make a one-time donation of your choice. Thank you. Click here to give.

A majority of students in each of the region’s three largest districts — Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties — qualify for free or reduced-price lunches at school. That means many families rely on schools to feed their children on a daily basis, in some cases for breakfast, lunch and an after-school snack.

Here’s what you need to know about how to find food for your family during the school closures:

Statewide

A federally-funded program called Summer BreakSpot that provides free meals to children during summer breaks has been operating throughout the COVID-19 school closures.

Click here to enter your zip code, find the closest location, and check the opening dates and hours to confirm the site is participating. You can also call 211 or text FLKIDSMEALS to 211-211 to find the closest participating Summer BreakSpot location.

Miami-Dade County

Starting March 31, students and their family members will be able to receive grab-and-go meals from 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays at 50 schools. Families will receive breakfasts and lunches for the next day. See the list of locations here.

Broward County

Starting March 30, the Broward district will offer breakfast and lunch on weekdays at 23 elementary schools, nine middle schools and 15 high schools. See the full list here.

Breakfast will be served from 8 to 10 a.m., and lunch will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Students and their family members will be able to walk or drive up to the school using the bus or car loop and will be handed grab-and-go meals.

Palm Beach County

The School District of Palm Beach County will provide grab-and-go bags containing breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 35 sites. The locations are listed here.

Boxes of food from Feeding South Florida will be available on a limited basis. See the dates and locations here.

Monroe County

The Monroe County School District is providing grab-and-go meals from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at certain schools, and there will also be meal delivery at some locations. Find more information here.

This post will be updated. If you know of other food options for families that are not listed here, e-mail Jessica Bakeman at jbakeman@wlrnnews.org.