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Where to get free meals in Cleveland during summer vacation

Lance Cheung
A variety of services across the area provide kids and families with the meals they need during summer vacation.

When school is out for the summer student lunches are also on pause. A variety of services across the area provide kids and families with the meals they need during summer vacation.

The following will provide some of the options available around Cleveland.

Food assistance for children and teens

During the summer, the Cleveland Food Bank partners with the city’s public library system to provide free meals for those under age 18 at some branches.

Select locations will provide backpack meals that include a two-day supply of breakfast, lunch and dinner. They will also offer a free “Family Food Box” that provides non-perishable goods that families and adults can pick up.

Each of the Cleveland Public Library’s open locations will offer this service from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. from Monday through Friday through August 9.

Cleveland Public Schools will also offer breakfast as part of their Summer Soundtrack program for students under 18 who are part of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Those meals will be available Monday through Friday at multiple locations.

Families must register for the Summer Soundtrack program.

Breakfast hours: 10 to 10:30 a.m.

Locations: Halloran Skating Rink, Michael Zone Rec. Center, Zelma Goerge Roller Skating Facility, Lonnie Burten Center and Glenville High School

Other options for families

Multiple locations throughout Northeast Ohio also offer free meal services this summer. All who attend are eligible.

Faith Baptist Community Church (2355 E. 55th St.) 
Lunch from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. every Wednesday 

Trinity Cathedral (2230 Euclid Ave.) 
Lunch from noon to 1 p.m. every Sunday 

St. Augustine Hunger Center (1400 Howard Ave.) 
Lunch from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, and 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday  
Dinner from 4-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday 

St. Malachi Parish (2459 Washington Ave.)  
Lunch from 10:00 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Friday (takeout only) 
Breakfast from 9-11 a.m. on Saturday 

St. Pat’s Hunger Center (3606 Bridge Ave.) 
Dinner from 5-6 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday 

St. Herman House (4410 Franklin Blvd.) 
Serves meals every day of the week 
Breakfast: 7:30 - 8 a.m. (coffee and donuts)
Lunch: 11:30 a.m. - noon 
Dinner: 5:30 - 6 p.m. 
Staff would like those attending the lunch and dinner services to arrive 15 minutes early 

Food pantries

Along with meal services, there are a variety of pantries where those in need can pick up food. More details regarding eligibility for each location are below.

May Dugan Center (4115 Bridge Ave.) 
Available by appointment, walk-ins accepted; food distribution from 11:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. on Friday 
Only eligible for pick up once a week 

Audrey’s Outreach Program  
Located at Brook Park Community Church of the Brethren (16845 Holland Road) 
Only serves residents of Cuyahoga County 
Open Monday from 11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. and Thursday from 4 - 7 p.m. 
Driver’s license and proof of address required 

Pleasant Valley Church (12193 W Pleasant Valley Rd.) 
Food distribution begins at 4 p.m. 
Occurs on the third Wednesday of each month 

St. Vincent De Paul Society - Southwest Ozanam Center (2145 Broadview Rd.) 
Food pantry available from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday 
Photo ID and proof of address required 
Serves those living in the zip codes of 44109, 44129, 44130, 44134, 44142, 44144 

Finding more locations online

The Greater Cleveland Food Bank provides an interactive map to find places that provide food throughout the area.

You can access the map here or call the food bank’s help center at 216-738-2067.

The Hunger Network also provides a similar feature that can be accessed here.

Darayus Sethna is an intern with Ideastream Public Media's news team.