Through the Summer Meal Program, families can get access to breakfast, lunch, and snacks for their children at 160 sites across Northern Illinois. The Summer Meal Program is open to all children under the age of 18, though some site-specific requirements and restrictions may apply.
Last year alone, the program served more than 265,000 summer meals to children in need by working with more than 130 summer youth programs at parks, churches, schools, and other sites throughout the community. The Summer Meal Program is offered in partnership with the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program and administered by the Illinois State Board of Education.
In April 2018, the USDA named Northern Illinois Food Bank one of the nation’s 111 leading Summer Meal Program sponsors with a silver “Turnip the Beet” award ranking, dedicated to recognizing summer meal programs with the highest quality, nutritious and culturally-appropriate food. According to the USDA’s website, awardees demonstrated “excellence in areas such as providing fresh fruit daily; conducting taste tests with the children (and incorporating the feedback into the menus); serving a variety of whole grains and offering nutrition education activities along with the meals.”
The Summer Meal Program runs from June to mid-August. Days and hours of individual sites vary.
Select sites participating in the 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.
To locate additional participating Summer Meal Program sites near you, visit www.RiseandShineIllinois.org. For questions, or if your youth program is interested in becoming a Summer Meal Program site for summer 2018, please call Jessica Willis at 630-443-6910.
If you’d like to support the children and their families who are struggling to make ends meet this summer, please consider making a generous donation here.