Ask a kid what their favorite part of summer is, and you’re likely to get this answer: no school.
But, no school means no school lunches, which for some kids in northern Illinois means no lunch at all.
Tenae, a mother of four from Zion, knows the struggle of providing food during the summer all too well.
“In the summertime, the kids are enjoying themselves and I’m happy they’re happy, but I’m looking at the fridge and the cabinets and thinking, ‘Where is the food going?” Tenae said during a visit to Abiding Love Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen in Zion.
Thanks to Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Summer Meal Program, families struggling to make ends meet like Tenae’s can find a sense of relief.
Through the program, families can get access to breakfast, lunch, and snacks for their children at more than 100 sites across northern Illinois.
Last year alone, the program served over 7,000 children each day by working with summer youth programs at parks, churches, schools, and other sites throughout the community. The program is expected to continue growing this year, meaning more kids can enjoy their school-free summer on a full tummy.
Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Summer Meal Program is offered in partnership with the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program and administered by the Illinois State Board of Education.
The Summer Meal Program runs from June 6 to Aug. 22. To locate a participating Summer Meal Program near you, visit www.SummerFeedingIllinois.org, text “FoodIL” to 877877 or call 1-800-359-2163.
Sites participating in Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Summer Meal Program are listed below. These sites are open to any child under the age of 18 on a first come, first served basis.