How to Get Free Meals for Kids This Summer
Program by MPS and two foundations delivers free meals in three ZIP codes.
Milwaukee families with children 18 and younger can get food delivered to their doorsteps for free this summer thanks to two newly announced programs.
For families living in the 53205, 53206 and 53233 ZIP codes, Milwaukee Public Schools, the MPS Foundation and the Greater Milwaukee Foundation MKE Responds Fund have organized the “Summer Meal Delivery Pilot Program.” The program will deliver two-day packs of food containing two breakfasts, lunches and milks to designated bus stops (and in some cases, individual homes) every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from July 7 through Aug. 25.
To sign up for the program, click here. The deadline to register is Friday, June 11.
In addition, the Hunger Task Force and Gourmet Gorilla, a kids meal supplier based in Chicago, will be distributing seven-day meal packs to families with children 18 or younger anywhere in Milwaukee County. The program is called “Gorilla to Go” and will run from June 14 through Aug. 30.
Best said she expects to receive funding to enroll families on the waitlist but said those on the waitlist may not receive a box immediately when the program starts this month.
To get on the Gorilla to Go program’s waitlist, click here.
Best also asked that families who are receiving free meals through another program, such as MPS’ or the Boys and Girls Clubs’ summer meals programs, refrain from signing up for Gorilla to Go. We want to “make sure that everyone who is hungry gets something,” Best said.
What is in the MPS box, and how does it work?
Those who live in the 53205, 53206 or 53233 ZIP codes can register to receive meals for the Summer Meal Delivery Pilot Program through June 11. Your child does not need to attend an MPS school to qualify.
Bus-stop deliveries will begin on July 7 and run through Aug. 25 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. In some cases, deliveries will be made to a family’s doorstep if members are unable to make it to a drop-off site.
Boxes will include two breakfasts, two lunches and two milks per person in the family that registers. Vegetarian and religious dietary restrictions can be accommodated upon request.
Kelly Rickman Bosh, development and donor relations manager at the MPS Foundation, said the goal is to serve 1,000 meals per day.
Pre-ordered meal bundles will contain a packaged breakfast and lunch for anyone in the community that is 18 and younger. On Mondays and Wednesdays, the meal bundles will contain two days’ worth of breakfast and lunch. On Fridays, children will receive breakfast and lunch for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Families can pre-order meals for pickup at MPS Summer Meal Program sites here.
What’s in the Gorilla to Go box, and how does it work?
Families participating in the Gorilla to Go program will have seven-day meal packs delivered to their doorstep once per week.
The program is based on a similar one piloted in western Kenosha County that is led by Gourmet Gorilla and the Sharing Center, a nonprofit in Kenosha County that offers services and supplies to local families. Sharon Pomaville, executive director at the Sharing Center, said families may not be prepared for the quality of meals they receive through this program, citing the abundance of fresh ingredients and lack of pre-processed foods.
“It’s like Blue Apron,” Pomaville said, referring to the for-profit weekly meal kit supplier. “The biggest complaint we receive is that families have to cook all the time because there’s no prepared meals.”
This story was originally published by Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, where you can find other stories reporting on fifteen city neighborhoods in Milwaukee.