Columbus Offers Free Summer Lunch Program

Melissa Kossler Dutton
Children eat a meal at SharonWoods Church in Northland as part of the 2018 “Go, Lunch!” program. The site is participating in the effort again this year.

The Columbus Recreation and Parks Department and local social service agencies want to make sure that children receive a nutritious midday meal over the summer.

To that end, the city—along with 16 community partners—again is offering the “Go, Lunch!” program, which offers free meals to anyone between the ages of 1 and 18. (Some individuals may be eligible through age 21.) Free lunches are offered daily at four Columbus City Schools sites as well as other schools, libraries and child-oriented facilities. 

Families do not need to register or meet any economic guidelines to participate. To find a lunch location near you, text “Food” to 877877. In response, you will receive a text with the address of the closest sites, or information about how to find one. Last summer, more than 472,000 meals were served at 230-plus locations.

Additional information is available through the Ohio Department of Education, which maintains information about the state’s Summer Food Service Program. The site includes a map of lunch providers.

For more information, go to