Healthy You - Every Day

Free Lunches for Allentown Children Extended Through End of Year


NOTE:  The following information was published September 14, 2020. For current COVID-19 information, visit

Many children living with food insecurity rely on school lunches to provide a well-rounded meal. For these kids, remote learning means skipping meals and empty stomachs. With that in mind, the Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–17th Street Sack Lunch program for kids will now be offered through the end of the year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Program is a federally funded program administered through the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Typically, it helps to provide lunches during the summer months, but given the unique circumstances of 2020, lunches will now be provided through the end of the year.

Here in the Lehigh Valley there are about 26 sites offering free lunches. You can visit the Food Service Program webpage to see all the sites near you. For the third consecutive year, LVH–17th Street is one of those sites. Many people have made lunch pick-up a part of their everyday routine. “As a foster mom, programs like this are so helpful for my family,” said one community member.

Morrison Healthcare, a Lehigh Valley Health Network food services partner, is assisting with providing the healthy meals, which typically include a sandwich, a piece of fruit and milk.

Learn how your children can participate:

When – Children can receive lunches Mondays and Thursdays, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. through Dec. 31.

Where – The program takes place on the front steps of LVH–17th Street School of Nursing building. During inclement weather, lunches will be handed out from the School of Nursing lobby.

Who – Any child in Allentown age 18 or younger is eligible to participate. No registration is required, and no personal information is collected.

COVID-19 safety

Lunches are “grab and go” in compliance with U.S. Department of Agriculture and CDC guidelines for safe food handling. Caregivers can pick up lunches on behalf of their children; likewise, children can pickup lunches without a caregiver present. Caregivers and children may take up to three meals at a time for each child in the family.

This program is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Program, a federally funded program administered through the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

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