With COVID-19 making an extreme impact on society, many families continue to struggle to provide basic necessities, including food.
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 comment!
It is strongly advised that you contact the restaurants below before heading there to make sure they are still operational and their deals are still ongoing.
I continue to update this guide, but have left 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.
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.
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.
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.
The location on Central Avenue in Northeast Minneapolis will provide free cheese quesadillas, rice and beans.
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.
Children under 15 can enjoy a kids meal for free from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. Food is available for take out.
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.
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.
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.
The Cambridge restaurant offers a free lunch to children 12 and under.
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).
Starting Monday, March 16, students can receive a turkey sandwich, potato chips and yogurt free of charge at the Annandale restaurant.
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.
Connect with the Waconia bakery if you are need of breakfast for your student.
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.
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.
The Saint Cloud location will provide free turkey sandwich lunches to children. No purchase necessary.
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.
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.
No purchase is necessary for a pasta meal with fresh bread for kids at Victoria’s in Rochester.
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. Kids 14 and under can have a free meal the week of March 15th at the restaurant on Grand Avenue in Saint Paul. The Saint Paul restaurant will serve hot dogs and chips to kids at no charge starting Monday, March 16. 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. 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. The Apple Valley restaurant partnered with Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville to provide meals to isolated senior citizens starting Tuesday, March 17. The Eagan, Maple Grove, Roseville and Saint Cloud locations will provide free turkey sandwich lunches to children. No purchase necessary. 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. 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. Kids under 12 eat free at the Saint Louis Park restaurant. 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. 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. The Savage restaurant will supply free boxed lunches during regular business hours. It will include a sandwich, fruit cup, chips, cookie and milk. 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. 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. 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. Stop by the Blaine location during lunch hours until March 27 to receive a small pizza at no charge. 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. 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. Kids under 12 can eat free from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm at the Saint Cloud restaurant March 16-20. The Saint Joseph restaurant is offering $2.00 kids meals starting Wednesday, March 18. A cooler outside the Bayport restaurant is filled with lunches and dinners. It will be restocked as needed. The Melrose location is offering a rotating kids menu each weekday for $2.00.
Call the Hastings restaurant during lunch hours and a bag lunch will be available for pick up.
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