Everyone Needs a Little Help from Time to Time

So many families are just one job change, health issue, or rent increase away from needing a little extra help putting food on the table. Many families only need to access food resources for a period of time until they get back on their feet. No matter your circumstance, there is a program that can help. 

Find free food year-round, including school district meal programs and resources provided by community partners.

Free/Reduced Meals (breakfast and lunch)

Nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free meals to children each school day. For information, contact Nutrition Services at 651-425-6280. To apply, find a paper application in the school office or submit one online here.

SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)

SNAP is intended to supplement food and nutrition needs for people of all ages. Eligibility is based upon your household size and income. We assist with eligibility screenings, applications, and finding resources in your community. If you have an active card, we can assist with the recertification process. For more information and for help applying for SNAP benefits, call Emily at 651-307-9033 or email ebowman@2harvest.org.

After-school Meals and Snacks

Through the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), District 833 provides free nutritious meals and snacks to kids enrolled in District 833 after-school programs. Full schedule coming soon!

SoWashCo CARES Winter Food and Clothing Packs

This program offers a supply of nutritious meals and snacks for children over winter break, at no charge to families in District 833. Winter coats, snow pants and boots are also available upon request. Contact sowashcocares@gmail.com or connect with your school social worker for more information.


There are several churches that offer semi-regular community-wide meals.

St Rita’s Church
Where: 8694 80th St S, Cottage Grove, MN 55016
When: 6pm on 3rd Friday of every month

All Saints Lutheran Church
8100 Belden Blvd, Cottage Grove, MN 55016
When: 6pm on 4th Friday of every month

Newport Lutheran Church
900 15th St, Newport, MN 55055
When: 5-6:30pm on 2nd Saturday of every month

The Alley Church
8944 Indahl Ave S, Cottage Grove, MN 55016
When: 12:15pm on 2nd Sunday of every month

Free for the whole family. No application or proof of income is needed.

Fare for All

Fare For All is a great way to save money on quality, nutritious food. They buy fresh fruits, vegetables, and frozen meat in bulk to save you up to 40% off grocery store prices. There are 30 locations in the Twin Cities metro area, with food packages are sold once per month.

Food Shelves

Christian Cupboard (serving Woodbury, Oakdale, or Landfall, as well as the area of Maplewood east of McKnight and south of Highway 5) and Friends in Need (serving residents of Cottage Grove, St. Paul Park, Newport and Grey Cloud Island) are both here in our community.

Visit their respective websites to learn more about when they're open, and what you'll need to bring to get food assistance. If those two locations aren't right for you, Hunger Solutions has a helpful tool to locate a food shelf or meal program near you. You can also call the Minnesota Food Helpline at 1-888-711-1151.

Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf
 8264 4th St N, Oakdale, MN 55128
When: Mondays, 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.; Thursdays, 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.; Fridays, 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. No appointment or preregistration is necessary.

Friends in Need Food Shelf
Where: 535 4th St, St Paul Park, MN 55071
When: Shopping hours are Tuesdays from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Wednesdays from 5:30-7:00 pm. To better serve you, please make an appointment on Mondays between 12:00-3:00 p.m. or Tuesdays after 7:30 a.m.

Wildcard Wednesdays

Select free meats, dairy, deli and produce items from local grocery stores at the Christian Cupboard Food Shelf every Wednesday from 11am-1pm.

Market Bucks

Market Bucks help SNAP customers stretch their dollars at the farmers market making healthy food more affordable. Market Bucks match SNAP-EBT spending dollar-for-dollar (up to $10) at participating farmers markets across Minnesota. Learn more here!

Summer meals - summer 2019

District 833’s Community Education Skoolie Bus will be out in South Washington County communities every Monday-Thursday during the summer offering free activities and food for kids. All are invited to attend and take part in the fun.

Free Summer Meals Through The Summer Food Service Program
Families with kids who access free and reduced-price meals during the school year might need a little extra help this summer. There are hundreds of locations across Minnesota that serve complimentary snacks and meals to all children and teens 18 years old and younger during the summer!

Produce Fair

During the growing season, a broad range of fresh produce will be available for free. Stop by during the dates below and receive a variety of free produce.

South Washington County Meal Resources Map and Calendar

Don't see what you need? See the resources above for dining sites, farmers markets and more that provide convenient options for your family.


SoWashCo Google Calendar

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; Fax: (202) 690-7442; or Email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.