A growing list of programs and restaurants offering food to families in Minnesota

Updated 9/26/20

COVID-19 is making an extreme impact on society. Basic necessities, including food, can be difficult to come by for too many families.

Fortunately, Minnesota restaurants and organizations are swiftly adapting to the situation, offering free meals to those who need them. A list of resources are below. If you know of others not listed, please email me.

It is strongly advised that you contact the restaurants below before visiting to make sure they are still operational and their deals are valid.

This guide is continually updated. I decided to leave restaurants who have ended their free meal distribution on here to showcase their generosity. Please support them when you’re able.

School districts, including Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) and Saint Paul Public Schools, provide food service to students. Make sure to check with your child’s school so you do not miss out on free meals for your children.


Also on Give Me The Mike…


By location:

Saint Paul
Minneapolis
Annandale
Brainerd/Nisswa
Buffalo
Cambridge
Falcon Heights
Farmington
Le Center
Lino Lakes
Richfield
Rochester
Rosemount
Saint Cloud/Sartell
Saint Michael
Waconia


Saint Paul

Hope Breakfast Bar (verified 9/5/20)

Hope Breakfast Bar in Saint Paul is preparing takeout bags for families. To request food, fill out this online form. Those looking to donate to support the cause are able to do so online. They are also looking for volunteers.

El Burrito Mercado (verified 9/5/20)

Students 12 and younger who are accompanied by an adult receive a free lunch to go daily from El Burrito Mercado in Saint Paul. The offer goes from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm.

Back to top

Falcon Heights

Eggroll Queen (verified 9/13/20)

Children will receive a free egg roll, fruit and fried rice at the Eggroll Queen in Falcon Heights. You can call in your order in advance and it will be packaged to pick up. Staff tell me this offer is not publicized frequently, but is ongoing.

Back to top

Minneapolis

MAYA Cuisine (verified 9/13/20)

The location on Central Avenue in Northeast Minneapolis will provide free cheese quesadillas, rice and beans.

Provision Community Restaurant (verified 9/15/20)

The South Minneapolis restaurant is serving free, single-served, packaged meals Mondays through Fridays from 12:00 to 1:00 pm. Those attending are asked to bring their own bag.

Back to top

Richfield

El Tejaban Mexican Grill (verified 9/5/20)

Children under 15 can enjoy a kids meal for free from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. Food is available for take out.

Back to top

Farmington

Bourbon Butcher (CALL FIRST TO VERIFY)

Starting Tuesday, March 17, the Farmington restaurant will offer free boxed lunches which will include a sandwich, fruit cup, chips, cookie and milk. They are also collecting canned food for the Farmington Food Shelf.

Back to top

Rosemount

Suzie’s Kitchen (verified 9/22/20)

If you’re in the Rosemount area, connect with Suzie’s Kitchen for meal options. You should call ahead to order meals: (651) 322-8393.

Back to top

Lino Lakes

Trappers Bar and Grill (verified 9/13/20)

The Lino Lakes restaurant will serve turkey and ham sandwiches, chips and applesauce to students. Please call 651-784-7474 in advance and let staff know how many meals are needed.

Back to top

Cambridge

Chapala Mexican Restaurant (CALL FIRST TO VERIFY)

The Cambridge restaurant offers a free lunch to children 12 and under.

Back to top

Saint Michael

Dunn Brothers Coffee, Saint Michael (CALL FIRST TO VERIFY)

They have teamed up with Westbridge Community Church to offer free lunches REGARDLESS OF AGE Monday through Friday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. You are able to pick those up in the Westbridge Community Church parking lot (11600 Frankfort Parkway NE, Saint Michael).

Back to top

Annandale

Billy D’s Crooked Tavern (CALL FIRST TO VERIFY)

Starting Monday, March 16, students can receive a turkey sandwich, potato chips and yogurt free of charge at the Annandale restaurant.

Back to top

Buffalo

Thirsty Buffalo Saloon (CALL FIRST TO VERIFY)

Anytime the kitchen is open (11:00 am – 10:00 pm Monday – Saturday, 11:00 am – 9:00 pm Sunday), Thirsty Buffalo Saloon in Buffalo will offered bagged lunches to families in need.

Back to top

Waconia

Bakery on Main (CALL FIRST TO VERIFY)

Connect with the Waconia bakery if you are need of breakfast for your student.

Back to top

Saint Cloud/Sartell

House of Pizza (CALL FIRST TO VERIFY)

From 11:00 am – 2:00 pm Monday through Friday, kids 12 and under can get a free pizza or pasta at House of Pizza locations in Saint Cloud or Sartell. Dine in or take out only. Note: owners are evaluating this on a weekly basis. It currently is valid thru March 20th.

Pacific Wok (CALL FIRST TO VERIFY)

Kids 12 and under eat free Monday through Friday from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at Pacific Wok in Sartell. This is available via their drive thru. You are encouraged to call ahead. Note: owners are evaluating this on a weekly basis. It currently is valid thru March 20th.

Granite City (CALL FIRST TO VERIFY)

The Saint Cloud location will provide free turkey sandwich lunches to children. No purchase necessary.

Back to top

Brainerd/Nisswa

Ernie’s on Gull and Main Street Ale House (CALL FIRST TO VERIFY)

Stop by Ernie’s on Gull or Main Street Ale House in Nisswa to receive free kids meals starting Monday, March 16. Please call ahead — (218) 961-6724.

Back to top

Le Center

Gracie’s With a Cup of Joe (CALL FIRST TO VERIFY)

The Le Center diner will deliver meals to kids in Le Center and rural areas, including Cleveland. Call (507) 357-4816 or (952) 564-4055.

Back to top

Rochester

Victoria’s Ristorante and Wine Bar (verified 9/6/20)

No purchase is necessary for a pasta meal with fresh bread for kids at Victoria’s in Rochester.

Additional resources for families

Expired deals

Please patronize these businesses and thank them for their generosity

{PROGRAM ENDED} Coconut Whisk Baking Co.

Send them a private message on Facebook and they will provide you a week’s worth of vegan and gluten-free pancake/waffle mix for your family.

{PROGRAM ENDED} Billy’s on Grand

Kids 14 and under can have a free meal the week of March 15th at the restaurant on Grand Avenue in Saint Paul.

{PROGRAM ENDED} Day by Day Cafe

The Saint Paul restaurant will serve hot dogs and chips to kids at no charge starting Monday, March 16.

{PROGRAM ENDED} Station 280

Starting Monday, March 16, kids can receive a free bag lunch including a turkey sandwich, fruit snacks, apple, orange juice and milk at their restaurant/bar in Saint Paul.

{PROGRAM ENDED} Rascal’s Bar and Grill

Free bag lunches will be available to anyone in need from 11:00 am – 1:30 pm Monday thru Friday and Saturday from 12:30 – 1:30 pm at Rascal’s in Apple Valley.

{PROGRAM ENDED} VIVO Kitchen

The Apple Valley restaurant partnered with Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville to provide meals to isolated senior citizens starting Tuesday, March 17.

{PROGRAM ENDED} Granite City

The Eagan, Maple Grove, Roseville and Saint Cloud locations will provide free turkey sandwich lunches to children. No purchase necessary.

{PROGRAM ENDED} Que Viet

The Minneapolis location will offer free fried rice to students starting Wednesday, March 18. The student must be present in order to receive the meal.

{PROGRAM ENDED} Bacon Social House

Through April 6, kids eat free from the Downtown Minneapolis restaurant with the purchase of an adult entree. The service is available by pickup and they are working on delivery options.

{PROGRAM ENDED} Lucky Cricket

Kids under 12 eat free at the Saint Louis Park restaurant.

{PROGRAM ENDED} Cafe Cravings

Between 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, children under 13 in need of a meal will be provided a cold sandwich of their choice and potato chips at no charge from the White Bear Lake restaurant.

{PROGRAM ENDED} Ha Long Bay

For students who receive free or reduced lunch, stop by Ha Long Bay in White Bear Lake to receive a free dine-in or take-out lunch between Monday, March 16 and Friday, March 27, weekdays from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm. No proof necessary.

{PROGRAM ENDED} Whiskey Inferno Meat House and Craft Bar

The Savage restaurant will supply free boxed lunches during regular business hours. It will include a sandwich, fruit cup, chips, cookie and milk.

{PROGRAM ENDED} Riversbend Bar and Grill

Riversbend Bar and Grill in Ramsey will provide bag lunches with sandwiches, chips, fruit and a cookie. Pick up from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm.

{PROGRAM ENDED} Piada Italian Street Food

Through May 31, all K-12 students can receive a free kids pasta with sauce, cheese and a fountain drink. In the Twin Cities, Piada has locations in Woodbury, Eagan and Mall of America.

{PROGRAM ENDED} Manea’s Meats

The Sauk Rapids market will make bag lunches, which will be delivered by members of the Sauk Rapids Police Department. You must live within Sauk Rapids city limits. Orders must be placed online by 9:00 pm the night before delivery.

{PROGRAM ENDED} Toppers Pizza

Stop by the Blaine location during lunch hours until March 27 to receive a small pizza at no charge.

{PROGRAM ENDED} UMI Sushi and Hibachi

Any school aged child can receive a free chicken lo mein and fountain drink at UMI Sushi and Hibachi in Blaine. No purchase necessary — just ask for a manager.

{NO LONGER ALLOWING IN STORE PICKUP} Great Harvest Maple Grove

The bakery will offer free breads and goodies to families. They are also donating twice a week to CROSS Food Shelf in Rogers and are delivering to seniors. As of May 3, this one location has provided food to over 1,600 households.

{PROGRAM ENDED} Olde Brick House

Kids under 12 can eat free from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm at the Saint Cloud restaurant March 16-20.

{PROGRAM ENDED} Kay’s Kitchen

The Saint Joseph restaurant is offering $2.00 kids meals starting Wednesday, March 18.

{PROGRAM ENDED} Manger Restaurant and Wine Bar

A cooler outside the Bayport restaurant is filled with lunches and dinners. It will be restocked as needed.

{PROGRAM ENDED} Cornerstone Buffet and Restaurant

The Melrose location is offering a rotating kids menu each weekday for $2.00. 

{PROGRAM ENDED} Lock and Dam Eatery

Call the Hastings restaurant during lunch hours and a bag lunch will be available for pick up.

29 Comments on “A growing list of programs and restaurants offering food to families in Minnesota

  1. VIVO Kitchen in apple valley
    In our effort to find Possibility in these uncertain times, VIVO is launching “Feeding SOULS South of the River,” a collaborative effort between the faith community and local restaurants that will provide meals to isolated, at-risk seniors. We will begin Tuesday, delivering lunches 6 days a week, partnering with Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville. More restaurant/church partnerships to be joining the effort soon. For more information about this program, please contact us at community@vivomn.com.
    Image may contain: 1 person, closeup and text

  2. UMI Sushi in Blaine –
    Dear Neighbors,

    *Please share to help spread the word*

    Gov. Tim Walz announced today that he will close all K-12 public schools statewide, beginning Wednesday, in an attempt to control the spread of COVID 19. While we agree with this decision, we also understand that it may present challenges to families that we serve.

    During the school shut down, any school age child in need can receive a free kids size chicken lo mein and a fountain drink. No other purchase is necessary. Just ask for a manager and we will take care of you.

    ⁃UMI Sushi & Hibachi Management
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    #umisushi #umisushianshibachi #umimn

  3. Dunn Brothers (St. Michael location)
    Dear STMA Community,

    We take great pride in providing a safe, clean and comfortable gathering place to everyone that walks through our doors and visits us in our drive-thru – this includes not only our guests, but team members as well. In response to the current COVID-19 situation and recent school closing announcement throughout Minnesota, we have decided to make the following temporary operating changes to our location beginning Monday, March 16th through Sunday, March 29th to help mitigate any unnecessary exposure:
    • We will become a drive-thru only location. Our inside ordering, gathering and dining option will be closed, including use of our conference room
    • We will suspend filling any reusable cups or travel mugs

    Our operating hours will not be changing during this time period. We will continue to be open 6am – 8pm Monday through Friday and 7am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday.

    We also realize that the value of a business is based upon its ability to serve the local community. We understand the nutritional impact school closings can have on our youth and as such, are partnering with Westbridge Community Church to offer free lunches for any child Monday through Friday between 11am and 1pm, no questions asked. These lunches will be available for pick-up in the Westbridge Community Church parking lot. This lunch includes:
    • ½ sandwich: turkey or ham, and cheddar cheese
    • One side: chips, fruit or string cheese
    • Beverage: cup of milk or water

    While we expect these temporary changes to strain our speed of service in the drive-thru, we ask that you please have patience during this extraordinary time. We will continue to work as hard as possible to ensure a positive experience and look forward to continuing to serve you!

    Sincerely,

    The Dunn Brothers Coffee St. Michael Team

  4. Whiskey Inferno in the Savage/Prior Lake area is offering lunch and/or dinner starting Tuesday per their FB page! Free boxed lunches available during normal business hours which includes choice of sandwich, fruit cup, chips, cookie, milk – just need to call them at (952) 855-4665. They are also taking excess canned food and other supplies for the food shelf over the next few weeks.

  5. Subway in Pierz will be giving kids free 4” ham or turkey sub, applesauce and juice or milk through March 11-2 Mon-Fri.

  6. Does anyone know if these apply to college students also? I know a lot of people at school who can’t get home that have similar needs to school aged children also

    • If I see an age restriction, I will typically include it. Most seem to be for students 14 and younger. Keep checking back!

  7. Duluth has burrito union and the brew house offering meals to kids m-f 11am-1p

    • Thanks for the heads up. Once they post it on their Facebook pages, I’ll add it to the listing.

  8. What a blessing you are to so many in need!! This is the time to raise our communities up! Nice job restaurant people!! 👏❤

  9. Dehmer’s Meats in St. Michael shared this info on their Facebook page yesterday:

    Monday – Friday this week we will be offering a free bag lunch for children who are in need of one. Please call by 10 am and place your order, we will have it ready for pick up between 11-2. If you know someone who is in need, please pass this information along.

    Address: 401 Central Ave E, St Michael, MN 55376
    Phone: (763) 497-2455

  10. Mizumi Sushi & Asian Bistro in Lakeville

    “During the school closure, we would like to contribute to our communites as much as possible. Come in for some Grab-N-Go lunch selection on us. Monday – Friday from 11am – 2pm. We want you to stay healthy and safe.”

  11. Pingback: What Services Are JFCS, JFS & Others Offering? | TC Jewfolk

  12. Pingback: Minnesota non-profits and businesses delivering meals to those unable to leave their homes – Give Me The Mike

  13. Pingback: COVID-19 Resources « CAPI

  14. Pingback: Free educational resources for parents in this new normal – Give Me The Mike

  15. Pingback: Support Local Baltimore Restaurants: 50+ Options & Why It Is Safe

  16. Pingback: Where Minnesotans can donate clothing and household goods during COVID-19 – Give Me The Mike

  17. Pingback: A list of drive-in theaters open around Minnesota, and how they’re adapting to COVID guidelines – Give Me The Mike

  18. Pingback: Supporting Minnesota nonprofits damaged after protests – Give Me The Mike

  19. Pingback: COVID-19 Resources - CAPI

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: