Public playground summer meal service / Photo: City of Helsinki

Public playground summer meal service to start in June – in 77th year of service

The City of Helsinki will again serve free-of-charge warm meals to all children and young people under 16 at Helsinki public playgrounds this summer. The playground meal service starts on 3 June and ends on 2 August.

This summer’s meal service will comprise 57 Helsinki public playgrounds, about 30 of which will stay open throughout the summer months. Food is served on weekdays at 12 noon. No registration is required to attend, and the participating children and young people only need to bring their own utensils (bowls or deep plates, spoons and/or forks).

The lunch menu for the summer service was drawn up in the spring by the caterer Service Centre together with the City of Helsinki Education Division. New menu items this summer include rice porridge and red-pepper pure soup.

To comply with customer wishes, the menu contains a great deal of traditional foods, such as pea soup, sausage soup and many types of fish soup. The long-time favourites Italian Stew and Archipelago Soup made with rainbow trout will again be served. The traditional rhubarb pie returns to the menu after a two-year break, served on Helsinki Day, 12 June.

Helsinki’s free playground meal service has long traditions. It is a unique public service by international standards and even by Finnish standards. The meal service, which is now in its 77th year, meets nutritional and social needs of families, easing their everyday lives.

The summer 2019 public playground lunch menus are available in Finnish and Swedish:

Summer lunch menus in Finnish

Summer lunch menus in Swedish

Public playgrounds serving in summer 2019 (listing of playgrounds and dates in Finnish only)

More information about the free meal service at Helsinki public playgrounds

Contact for more information:

City of Helsinki Education Division
Sirpa Jalovaara, food services expert
sirpa.jalovaara@hel.fi, +358 (0)9 310 86491

Service Centre
Heli Laukko, planner
heli.laukko@hel.fi, +358 (0)9 310 40874

Service Centre is a City of Helsinki municipal enterprise, which caters for schools, other educational institutions, day care centres, hospitals, multiple-service centres and elderly centres. We provide 100,000 meals per day and have experience with catering services from more than 100 years. In addition to catering services, we develop and produce telephone and wellbeing services, and we support independent living at home of the elderly and others with multiple technical services and solutions. We also provide cleaning services.