Join us for our annual Chicago Summer Meals Kickoff event that promotes and brings awareness to the Summer Meals program. The USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP); also known as the Summer Meals program is administered by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and provides nutritious meals to kids, age 18 and younger during the summer months. The Summer Meals program ensures children’s bodies and minds are healthy, strong and ready for the next school year.
In Illinois 1 in 5 children do not know where their next meal will come from. Many children struggle with food insecurity when school is out during the summer as they no longer have access to free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). To help close this gap, the Summer Meals program serves meals to children in the summer who rely on free and reduced-price meals during the school year.
In 2016, at over 1,200 summer meal sites, Chicago served approximately 2.8 million meals of the 5.4 million meals served statewide to children. Despite these numbers, the Summer Meals program is severely underutilized. According to the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) for every 100 children who eat a meal in NSLP, only 14 receive a meal during the summer months in Illinois. The Summer Meals Kickoff event is one opportunity to help reach more children. Kickoff the summer with us at Horner Park, Friday June 23rd!