Contact: Elizabeth Gartman, Communications Manager,, 630-443-6910 ext. 142

Northern Illinois Food Bank’s award-winning Summer Meals Program kicks off June 4 to feed area children this summer

(Geneva, Ill. – May 25, 2018) – Northern Illinois Food Bank will launch its annual Summer Meals Program on Monday, June 4 at more than 130 sites across Northern Illinois. The program will run through mid-August.

Offered in partnership with the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and administered by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), the program is designed to provide free breakfast, lunch, or snacks to children at risk of facing hunger during the summer months when they do not have access to free or reduced-price lunches at school.

Under SFSP federal guidelines, feeding sites sponsored by Northern Illinois Food Bank provide meals to children ages 18 years and under, and to persons over age 18 enrolled in state-approved educational programs for the mentally or physically disabled across Northern Illinois. More than 245,000 free summer meals were served to children in need last year.

In April, the USDA named Northern Illinois Food Bank one of the nation’s 111 leading Summer Meal Program sponsors, awarding the Food Bank 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.”

Days and hours of individual site operations vary. For further information about Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Summer Meal program, contact Jessica Willis at 630-443-6910 ext. 144 or visit

The U.S Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

About Northern Illinois Food Bank
Northern Illinois Food Bank leads the Northern Illinois community in solving hunger by providing nutritious meals to those in need through innovative programs and partnerships. Since 1983, food manufacturers, local grocers, corporations, foundations, and individuals have come together to donate food and funds, and evaluate and repack food for distribution to 800 community food pantries and feeding programs serving more than half a million hungry neighbors every year across 13 counties. That commitment provided 65.5 million meals to those in need in FY17. Find out how you can Volunteer, Donate and Get Involved at or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Northern Illinois Food Bank is a member of Feeding America.