Dozens of Chicago public school locations will begin handing out free meals to families and children on Monday to help those struggling to keep food on the table during the summer months.
Meals will be provided free of charge to students enrolled in CPS summer programs through the Summer Food Service Program, which is administered by the Illinois State Board of Education and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to the district.
However, families will still be able to receive assistance even if their children do not attend CPS schools. The district’s LunchStop program, which offers free healthy meals at more than 70 locations across the city, is open to children ages 1 to 18.
“We know that hunger doesn’t go away when school doors close,” CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said in a press release. “The summer months can be tough for families who rely on our school nutrition program and so we are delighted to once again be offering a variety of nutritious meals to help ease stress and keep our students healthy and ready. to learn when they return to school at the end of August.”
LunchStop takes place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday to Friday, starting Monday. The last day of the program is August 12.
An online tool is available to help families find the nearest LunchStop restaurant. Parents and students can also text “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 304-304 and enter a zip code to find nearby summer dining venues, along with the days and hours of operation, according to the CPS.