Coronavirus: These Twin Cities restaurants are offering free food for kids

The restaurant industry is stepping up as schools shut down.
Publish date:

Despite being one of the industries hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak, restaurants across the Twin Cities are still doing what they can to help struggling families now that schools are being shut down.

School lunches are a valuable source of nutrition for many children, and while Gov. Tim Walz announced Sunday that even during the shutdown efforts will be made to keep making meals available to students, restaurants across the metro are also stepping up to fill the gap.

We've put together a running list of those offering help, and since the advice from the state and federal government is to engage in social distancing, we are featuring eateries that offer free meals as a bagged/boxed carry-out option or with curbside pickup.

Since restaurants are facing economic strife amid the ongoing crisis, we would also urge you to buy a meal for yourself if you're able to when picking up kids meals.

This list will be updated as we become aware of more offers. Email if you want to let us know of one.

318 Cafe, Excelsior: Free turkey, ham and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with a side of fruit to all children in need. Call (952) 401-7902 during opening hours and a staff member will bring it out to your car.

Bourbon Butcher, Farmington: Free boxed lunches during normal business hours for any child, with choice of sandwich, fruit cup, chips, cookie, and milk. Call 651-344-7600 for more.

Day By Day Cafe, St. Paul: Free hot dogs and chips for kids home from school starting Monday. Call 651-227-0654 for curbside pickup.

Dunn Brothers, St. Michael: Teaming up with Westbridge Community Church to offer free lunches from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. via pickup at the Westbridge parking lot.

Granite City Brewery Rosedale and Eagan: Is making box lunches for kids including a turkey sandwich, chips and apple sauce.

Great Harvest, Maple Grove: Call (763) 416-1911 to order ahead and pickup curbside. It's also offering free breads and goodie bags to families in need.

Hope Breakfast Bar, St. Paul: Wants people to suggest families in need, with the restaurant then making a breakfast, lunch or dinner for them.

Lucky Cricket, St. Louis Park: Offering free meals to under 12s. Its drive up and away service can be contacted at 952-206-6830, with staff bringing orders directly to your vehicle.

Manger Restaurant, Bayport: Kids lunches and dinners including sandwich, banana, carrot sticks, peanut butter crackers and a juice box are available for pickup from coolers on the restaurant's patio.

Rascals, Apple Valley: From Tuesday, free boxed lunches available for pickup between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., comprising sandwich, apple sauce, chips and dessert. Call 952-431-7777 during those hours to arrange. 

Tavern 4&5 Eden Prairie: Offering choice of ham, or turkey and cheese sandwich, fruit or applesauce, and chips. Call 952-934-4545, and they will bring the items to your car.

Trappers Bar and Grill, Lino Lakes: Offering free carry-out bagged lunches including a turkey or ham sandwich, chips, apple sauce and a snack. No purchase necessary.

Whiskey Inferno, Prior Lake: Offering free boxed lunches for kids – including a sandwich, fruit cup, chips, cookie, and milk – during normal business hours by calling (952) 855-4665.

Cafe Cravings, White Bear Lake: Sandwich and chips provided for kids from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For curbside pickup you can call 651-482-7742 or send a message via Facebook Messenger.

Next Up

vote, vote now

MN Supreme Court dismisses attempt to block election certification

Another legal defeat for Republicans challenging the election.

prison, Rush City cell block

Another Minnesota prison inmate dies after COVID-19 diagnosis

The virus has killed at least six Minnesota inmates.

leech lake band of ojibwe sign

11,760 acres of land wrongly taken from Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe will be returned

The Senate and now the House have passed a bill that effectively returns the land. It's now headed for the president's signature.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves release first half of 2020-21 regular season schedule

The second half of the schedule will be announced at a later date.

reindeer como zoo

Watch live: Como Zoo's live reindeer cam is back for December

The live feed will run 24/7 allowing you to keep an eye on Santa's antlered helpers.


Three simple ways to boost your immune health heading into winter

Eating right is one thing, but there are other ways to stay healthy as the days shorten.

Taylor Rogers

Why Twins fans shouldn't give up on Taylor Rogers

The Twins closer struggled in 2020 but could rebound next season.

Co. Rd. 2 crash, Wakefield Twp.

Teen driver leaves road, crashes into three trees

Fortunately, the 16-year-old was not injured.

mndot deer  tunnel 1

Minnesota is getting its first highway crossing for animals

This will provide a safe way for animals to cross the street, and hopefully limit deer-vehicle collisions.


Screen Shot 2020-05-24 at 2.18.26 PM

Fig & Farro the latest Twin Cities restaurant to close permanently

The plant-based eatery said there's too much uncertainty in the industry.


Coronavirus: This map shows where you can find free children's meals

School districts, restaurants and nonprofits are trying to fill the void left by the school closures.

Screen Shot 2020-03-13 at 12.49.03 PM

A St. Paul restaurant is offering free take-out breakfasts for kids in need

It comes amid the prospect of school shutdowns and social distancing.

Moose and Sadie's

Moose and Sadie's the latest Twin Cities restaurant to close

The coffee shop and cafe has become a fixture of the North Loop.


Coronavirus: MN restaurateur implements extra precautions for diners

It's a tough environment for restaurants to thrive even without the outbreak.

Screen Shot 2020-02-26 at 9.49.11 AM

3 Twin Cities restaurants, 8 chefs nominated for James Beard Awards

The semifinalists for the prestigious awards have been announced.