MUSC launches 4th year of 'Kids Eat Free' summer food service program

CHARLESTON, S.C. (June 7, 2019)-The Medical University of South Carolina is participating in the USDA’ Summer Food Service Program.MUSC is once again partnering with Sodexo to offer Kids Eat Free at MUSC, a program to help reduce food insecurity for children under 18 during the summer months.  Meals will be provided to all children without charge and are the same for all children regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service. Meals will be provided on a first come, first served basis, at the following sites and times:

MUSC Rutledge Tower, 135 Rutledge Ave. Charleston, SC 29425

7 AM – 10 AM and 11 AM - 2 PM, Monday – Friday, June 10 – Aug 20, 2019 (closed July 4, 2019)

University Hospital Cafeteria, 65 Ashley Ave. Charleston, SC 29425

7 AM – 10 AM and 11 AM – 2 PM, Monday – Sunday, June 10 – Aug 20, 2019

Ashley River Tower Cafeteria, 25 Courtenay Ave. Charleston, SC 29425

7 AM – 10 AM and 11 AM – 2 PM, Monday – Sunday, June 10 – Aug 20, 2019

The program will serve breakfast from 7 am – 10 am and lunch from 11 am – 2 pm June 4 – August 19, 2018 through the cafeterias in Main, ART and Rutledge Tower.

In 2015, Sodexo and MUSC became the first hospital in the Southeast to participate in the USDA’s summer feeding program, and remains the only hospital in the state providing this service during the summer. The program has been designed so no child feels differentiated for receiving free meals. No questions are asked, and children do not need to sign up or show any type of registration, documentation, ID or proof of need to receive their meals. MUSC qualifies as a USDA open site because nearly 90% of children who attend nearby public schools qualify for free or reduced-cost meals during the school year.

The process is easy. Kids follow the friendly purple octopus that leads them to MUSC employees who help them make their food selections and then they check out with the cashier. Children can eat anywhere on campus, but to maintain the integrity of the program, they are not able to remove food from campus or give it away. To date, MUSC Health has served more than 18,000 meals to children in the community.

Food insecurity contributes to the rising cost of health care. Participation in hunger relief programs within health care’s existing infrastructure provides an opportunity to improve population health by increasing access to nutritious meals for those most in need. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) funds the much-needed program and allows children who receive free or reduced-cost meals during the school year to continue receiving food while school is out. The USDA summer meal programs, like Kids Eat Free at MUSC, help bridge the gap for more than 18 million children who lose their most reliable source of nutrition once the school year ends.


About MUSC Health

As the clinical health system of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest quality patient care available, while training generations of competent, compassionate health care providers to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Comprising some 1,600 beds, more than 100 outreach sites, the MUSC College of Medicine, the physicians’ practice plan, and nearly 275 telehealth locations, MUSC Health owns and operates eight hospitals situated in Charleston, Chester, Florence, Lancaster and Marion counties. In 2018, for the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina. To learn more about clinical patient services, visit

Founded in 1824, MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets of $3 billion. The more than 17,000 MUSC team members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers and scientists who deliver groundbreaking education, research, technology and patient care. For information on academic programs, visit