Children who are home for the summer will be able to get free meals through the United Way of Central Iowa’s Summer Meal Meet-Ups program. The program offers free meals to anyone 18 and under at one of the many meal sites in Central Iowa. Meal sites are at schools, parks, housing developments and local organizations in Polk, Dallas and Warren counties. The Meal Meet-Ups program also offers activities and educational opportunities. No application, registration, or proof of residency or citizenship is required. Because of federal policy changes, meals need to be eaten at the site. Before the pandemic, more than 40,000 students in Central Iowa qualified for free or reduced-price meals. That number is expected to grow with the continued effects of the pandemic, inflation and supply chain disruptions. “Summer Meal Meet-Ups is part of United Way of Central Iowa’s OpportUNITY Plan to address poverty, with a specific focus on increasing access to food as a basic and essential need for children and families to thrive,” said Renée Miller, chief community impact officer at United Way of Central Iowa. Meal sites can be found on the program website, by calling 211 or texting "Food” or "Comida” to 304-304. Photo: A student receives a meal during the United Way of Central Iowa’s Meal Meet-Ups program last year. Photo submitted by United Way of Central Iowa.


Iowa Stops Hunger is a yearlong Business Publications Corp. initiative to bring awareness and action to food insecurity in Iowa. Read additional stories on Iowastopshunger.com.