This time is super scary for all of us. COVID-19 has hit and the country is nearly in lockdown mode. Our mom brains are already filled to capacity and now we have all these added hurdles to think about. Uncertainty about our health and the health of our loved ones, plus financial worries and worries for our sanity while our kids are out of school (surely that’s not just me?). Finding meals for our kids shouldn’t be part of those worries, but unfortunately, some members of our community, are facing just that.
Lots of families rely on school for free meals but if schools are closed, where will that support come from? We’ve compiled a list of all the places across town that are offering free meals for kiddos while they are out of school.
Walton County School District– On Monday, March 23, the WCSD will provide one lunch meal for students. March 24- March 27, they will provide breakfast and lunch. For more information on times and pickup locations, check out their Facebook page.
Food For Thought (Walton County)– Students who are part of the Food for Thought program that normally receive bags on Fridays can pick up food bags on Monday, March 23rd from 8:00-10:00 a.m. or 4:00-6:00 p.m. at 132 Market Street in Santa Rosa Beach. For more information about Food for Thought, visit their Facebook page or website.
Maple Street Biscuit Company (Miramar Beach)– Children can pick out a biscuit and jam or an iced cinnamon biscuit. More information on store hours can be found here.
Pepitos Mexican Restaurants– through March 30, students can receive a free meal from the children’s menu (without drink) from 11am-4pm, no purchase necessary. Pickup or dine-in (if adults are accompanying). Please bring student ID or parent/guardian local ID. Visit their Facebook page for updated information.
Sweet Southern Comfort (Freeport)– March 16-30, Sweet Southern Comfort is offering free lunches for kids in need. For contact information and restaurant hours, visit their Facebook page.
Freeport Cafe (Freeport)– Monday-Friday 11-2, kids in need can come in to get a grilled cheese and French fries. Available until March 30. For information on location, visit their Facebook page.
Okaloosa County School District– Beginning on Wednesday, March 18 through March 23, the OCSD will provide breakfast and lunch for all school age students. More can be found in this press release as well as their Facebook page.
Food For Thought (Okaloosa County)– Students who are part of the Food for Thought program that normally receive bags on Fridays can pick up food bags on Monday, March 23rd, at the Destin pantry located at 908 Airport Road. For more information about Food for Thought, visit their Facebook page or website.
Peppers Mexican Grill (Shalimar & Crestview)– Parents can pick up free meals for kids from 10:30-12 through March 30. Children must be present and they will have their choice of cheese quesadillas, chicken or beef burritos and chicken or beef enchiladas. Each meal comes with a side of rice and beans. For more information, contact Peppers or click here.
Pepitos Mexican Restaurants– through March 30, students can receive a free meal from the children’s menu (without drink) from 11am-4pm, no purchase necessary. Pickup or dine-in (if adults are accompanying). Please bring student ID or parent/guardian local ID. Visit their Facebook page to see which locations are participating.
It’s an overwhelming time for everyone but in the midst of it all, communities are rallying together for those in need. As Mr. Rogers once said,
“Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
This is a work in progress and the list will be updated as more information becomes available. If additional support is needed, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us and we will help in any way that we can. Stay healthy and kind everyone!