In an effort to curb food insecurity with kids in Franklin County, there are programs to provide free lunch for kids, and free produce to low income families. The Go, Lunch! Summer Food Program with Columbus Recreation and Parks’ offers free, nutritionally balanced meals during the Summer months at our community centers along with other various locations. There are also Mobile Produce Markets available to provide free produce for eligible low-income families.
Mobile Produce Markets
Columbus Recreation and Parks, Columbus City Schools and Mid-Ohio Food Collective have partnered together to bring Mobile Produce Markets offering boxes of free produce to families.
The Mobile Produce Markets are available Tuesdays-Fridays, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. through May. Mobile Produce Markets will continue throughout the summer, a schedule will be available at www.golunch.club.
Eligible families (200% or below of the Federal Poverty Level) will receive approximately a one week supply of fresh produce based on the family size. To ensure the safety of residents and volunteers, Mobile Produce Markets are set up as a drive-thru and staffed by volunteers wearing masks and gloves who load the produce directly into the trunk or car.
Mobile Produce Market Schedule
Wednesday, May 20
- Linden McKinley High School, 1320 Duxberry Ave.
- Columbus Africentric, 3223 Allegheny Ave.
Thursday, May 21
- Centennial High School, 1441 Bethel Rd.
- Woodward Park Middle School, 5151 Karl Rd.
Friday, May 22
- Dominion Middle School, 330 E Dominion Blvd.
Tuesday, May 26
- Starling Pre K-8, 145 S Central Ave.
- Buckeye Middle School, 2950 S Parsons Ave.
Wednesday, May 27
- Sherwood Middle School, 1400 Shady Lane Rd.
- Independence High School, 5175 E. Refugee Rd.
Thursday, May 28
- Columbus Global Academy, 4077 Karl Rd.
- Mifflin High School, 3245 Oak Spring St.
Friday, May 29
- South High School, 1160 Ann St.
- East High School, 1500 East Broad St.
The collaboration amongst Columbus Recreation and Parks, Columbus City Schools and Mid-Ohio Food Collective was formed to provide free access to nutritious produce during the COVID-19 pandemic. The locations of the Mobile Produce Markets are also Columbus City Schools serving free meals to children.
Go, Lunch Summer Food Program
Go, Lunch! Summer food program offers kids free, nutritious meals and snacks at hundreds of locations throughout the city.
Many kids receive free or reduced-price breakfasts and lunches during the school year, but don’t have access to quality nutrition during the summer. This amazing program helps bridge that gap and make sure kids aren’t hungry during the summer months. One in four children in Franklin County do not have access to sufficient and nutritious foods…one in four! Go, Lunch! will be serving meals at sites across Franklin County.
Free Summer Meals for Children
Children must be in attendance to pick up food. Locations may be added in June.
Columbus City Schools:
To go breakfast will be 8 – 9 a.m.
To go lunch available 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
- Buckeye Middle School
- Centennial High School
- Columbus Africentric Early College
- Columbus Global Academy
- Dominion Middle School
- East High School
- Independence High School
- Linden-McKinley STEM Academy
- Mifflin High School
- Sherwood Middle School
- South 7-12
- Starling PreK-8
- Wedgewood Middle School
- West High School
- Woodward Park Middle School
**FREE TRANSPORTATION TO MEAL SITES FROM COTA
Columbus Metropolitan Libraries
Library locations may not be open until June.
- Whitehall Branch, 4445 East Broad Street, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
- Barnett Branch, 3434 East Livingston Avenue, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
- Northern Lights Branch, 4093 Cleveland Avenue, 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
All kids are welcome! Participation dates and times vary so it is best to text “FOOD” to 877877. From there, it will ask for an address and provide nearby locations and operating hours. Information is also available at www.golunch.club or by calling call 1-866-3-HUNGRY. Visit www.GoLunch.club for information, including a map of sites.
Data shows that only 10% of the children who are in the most need of free meals are taking advantage of the summer meal program – and that is heartbreaking. Please spread the word!
Not in Franklin County?
Nutritious free meals are available for children and teens 18 and younger at many locations throughout the nation during the summer while school is out of session with the Summer Food Service Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The free summer meals program helps to ensure that children will receive nutritious meals when school is out for the summer.
Children can enjoy meals in a safe and supervised environment, such as often local schools, community centers, recreation centers, libraries, parks, and faith-based organizations. All children and teens are eligible and no registration is required. Schedule at each site vary for days and hours of meals.
Call the National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-HUNGRY or 1-877-8-HAMBRE, or visit the website to find a meal site near you. A representative will help you find food resources near your location.