Summer Meal Meet-Ups Offered in Cohasset and Hill City

United Way of 1000 Lakes is teaming up with local organizations to fight food insecurity among school-age children by hosting a free summer lunch program in two underserved communities in the greater Itasca region.

The sites were chosen based on a high level of need, according to United Way of 1000 Lakes Executive Director Kim Brink Smith.

Feeding America lists Itasca County’s food insecurity rate at 11 percent – and that number has likely increased in the past months due to the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic,” Brink Smith said. “Even under normal circumstances, we know that food insecurity gets worse in the summer when students don’t have school meals to rely on. This program aims to fill that gap.” 

Beginning the first week of August, free lunches will be served at Cohasset Community Center on Mondays and Wednesdays and at Hill City Assembly of God Church on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Twice a week, children will be able to stop by a meetup site and pick up two meals to take home. The program is open to anyone under the age of 18, and participants are not required to sign up or meet a specific income threshold – children can simply stop by the site and grab their meals. Parents, guardians, or siblings can also pick up meals for children who are unable to make it to the site during pickup times. Sites will follow health and safety protocols, including masking up and practicing physical distancing.

The Summer Meal Meetups program came together thanks to collaborations between community partners. A grant from the Itasca Area Community Response Fund helped cover start-up costs for the program, with ongoing funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Staff and volunteers from the City of Cohasset and Hill City Assembly of God Church stepped up to help run distribution sites, and United Way of Northeastern Minnesota’s Meet Up and Chow Down program provided guidance, support, and a model for a successful summer lunch program.

Summer Meal Meet-Ups will run Cohasset and Hill City through the start of the school year. United Way hopes to continue the program annually and eventually add more sites in order to serve more children.

For a more comprehensive listing of summer meal sites, as well as other food resources for families and individuals in the Itasca area, visit Those interested in assisting with Summer Meal Meet-Ups can find opportunities, including delivering meals to sites and meal distribution can register at 

Meals are available at the following dates and locations:

Cohasset Community Center
305 1st Ave. NW, Cohasset
Mondays & Wednesdays, 12 – 1 p.m.

Hill City Assembly of God Church
102 Lake Ave., Hill City
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 12 – 1 p.m.

For more information about the summer meals program, call 218-999-7570 or email


There are several ways to get involved:

  • Promote Summer Meals Program in your community. Help us by sharing this information with your neighbors and liking and sharing our social media posts on Facebook and Twitter
  • Volunteer to serve meals at sites for one day or a whole week. With two locations serving the community on Mondays-Thursdays, extra help and hands are needed. If you, your family, or your organization would like to volunteer, please register at
  • Donate funds to support the program. Monetary donations help cover the costs to run the program. Make a donation at

About United Way of 1000 Lakes

Since 1963, the United Way of 1000 Lakes has partnered with local nonprofits to identify critical issues, create partnerships, and raise funds to help people in the Itasca Area. Mobilizing the caring power of the communities it serves, the organization’s mission drives work to create a happier, healthier community. They accomplish this by inspiring collaboration, fundraising, and volunteerism.