News

Illinois Virtual Dairy Farm Tour

Looking for a resource to teach kids about where their food comes from? Connect with seventh-generation family-owned Jersey dairy farm Marcoot Jersey Creamery! Learn how they care for their cows to produce delicious milk for you to enjoy on this virtual Illinois dairy farm tour! Visit the Dairy Excellence Foundation YouTube Channel at 10 a.m. on Thursday, October 22 to view this tour live!

Illinois Virtual Dairy Farm Tour

For more information, check out this flyer if you are a parent or student and this flyer if you are a teacher or school administrator wanting to use this trip as a part of your curriculum.

Schools, Families Adjust as USDA Ends Free Meal Waivers

Many Bloomington-Normal kids will no longer get the free school meals they’ve been getting since the start of the pandemic.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture gave each school district waivers to put all students on the free meal plan at the start of the pandemic, including during the summer. But as schools reopen, many of them virtually, the federal agency reversed course and now has schools charging those families that typically pay the reduced or full price, based on financial need.

District 87’s Director of School Nutrition Caroline Bubulka said she has written Congress asking the USDA to reconsider.

“Many families have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bubulka said. “A lot of them are in different job situations. They may not have the income that they previously had.”

Unit 5 Director of Food Services Joanna Rewerts said tracking those charges for each family is a challenge, especially since the district is doing meal pickups and deliveries during remote learning.

Read the full story on the WGLT website.

Register for CACFP after-school meals 2015 info sessions

New Sponsor Workshops – Summer 2015

The USDA provides reimbursements for snacks and meals served in eligible low-income after-school programs through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) At-Risk After-School Meals Program.

In collaboration with the Illinois State Board of Education, No Kid Hungry Illinois will be hosting a series of information sessions for interested new CACFP At-Risk After-School Meals sponsors and sites.

All schools, churches, community organizations, rec centers, libraries, park districts, health centers, and other non-profit or for-profit entities welcome!   Topics to be covered:

  • The need: learn the scope of after-school meals in Illinois, identify meal gaps and target areas
  • The solution: general CACFP At-Risk program information – assessment tools, financial calculators
  • How to: become a sponsor or site!
    • Illinois specific eligibility, application instructions, administration, reimbursements
    • Transitioning from Summer Meals Program and NSLP after-school snacks to offering meals year-round through CACFP
  • Best practices: strategies for successful implementation, outreach and partnerships
  • Grant Opportunities: No Kid Hungry after-school meals expansion and pilot grants

Register today!

  • Tuesday, July 21; 1pm – 3pm – Four Points Sheraton Hotel, 319 Fountains Parkway, Fairview Heights, IL 62208
  • Thursday, August 6; 1pm – 3pm – Peoria Public Library, 107 NE Monroe St, Peoria, IL 61602
  • Wednesday, August 19; 1pm – 3pm – Hilton Hotel, 3003 Corporate West Drive, Lisle, IL 60532

Contact Malaney Varaljay at mvaraljay@gcfd.org or 773.843.6706 to RSVP.

After-school Grants Awarded!

The children are all smiles at the Fleetwood Jourdain Community Center in Evanston after receiving eating an after-school meal.  The City of Evanston, sponsor of the Center's At-Risk After-School Meals program is a recent recipient of a No Kid Hungry after-school meals expansion grant.

The children are all smiles while eating an after-school meal at the Fleetwood Jourdain Community Center in Evanston. The City of Evanston sponsors the Center’s At-Risk After-School Meals program and is a recent recipient of a No Kid Hungry Illinois after-school meals expansion grant.

In partnership with Rise & Shine Illinois, the Illinois No Kid Hungry campaign awarded its first round of expansion grants for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) At-Risk After-school Meals Program.  The purpose of the grants is to help sponsors maximize their ability to serve full supper meals and expand participation in the program. $10,000 was awarded to six different sponsoring organizations throughout the state:

  • Northern Illinois Food Bank, Geneva
  • Catholic Charities of Chicago, Chicago
  • City of Evanston, Evanston
  • Casa Central, Chicago
  • Church of Peace, Rock Island
  • Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center, Urbana

Grants are still available! Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with two remaining deadlines.  The next application deadline is August 15.  For full grant details and to apply, click here.

At-Risk After-School Meals Webinar

Register for After-School Meals 101: Starting Your CACFP At-Risk After-School Meals Program – April 16th at 1pm

After-school meals serve a critical need for hungry children in Illinois.  Many schools and organizations already serve snacks or meals in their after-school programs yet they are doing this out of their own cost.  Reimbursements are available to serve free snacks and meals to children in eligible after-school programs through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) At-Risk After-School Meals Program. Join the Illinois State Board of Education and No Kid Hungry Illinois in this webinar to learn how you can start or expand your after-school meals program through CACFP At-Risk and become a stable source of nutrition in your community! Topics covered will include:

  • Current state of after-school meals in Illinois
  • General CACFP At-Risk program information
  • Eligibility, application, administration and reporting requirements for:
    – Potential new sponsors or sites
    – Schools offering snacks through the CACFP or National School Lunch Program (NSLP) looking to
    transition to offering meals
    – Summer Food Service Program sponsors looking to offer meals year-round through CACFP
  • Best practices and tools for implementation and outreach
  • Resources and No Kid Hungry Illinois after-school grant opportunities
Register now! https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2928805772288417537 

Superintendent announces Rise & Shine Illinois Grant Opportunity

Weekly Message from Superintendent Christopher A. Koch features Rise & Shine

Rise & Shine Illinois Breakfast Grant Opportunity Available to Schools 

NUTRITION AND WELLNESS PROGRAMS

FEBRUARY 9, 2015  — “Rise & Shine Illinois is offering grants of up to $5,000 to help schools cover the costs of providing free breakfast to students in need.

Under the School Breakfast Program (SBP), federal reimbursements are available to all public schools for breakfasts served to low-income children yet only 45 percent of eligible students actually receive breakfast.

Participation is often low because breakfast is either served in isolation before the start of the school day or there is a stigma surrounding students needing free or reduced-price meals.

Rise & Shine Illinois works with schools to reduce these barriers to participation by implementing alternative breakfast models such as Breakfast in the Classroom and Grab N Go.

While the cost of food for the SBP is reimbursed, schools need equipment and supplies, such as insulated bags, point-of-service terminals, Grab N Go carts and trash cans to make this program work. Rise & Shine Illinois offers grants to cover these extra expenses.

Rise & Shine Illinois has awarded $200,000 total to schools throughout the state since 2013, helping to increase breakfast participation in some districts by more than 200 percent.

Grants for 2015 are available for up to $5,000 each. The next application deadline is Feb. 15. Contact schoolbreakfast@gcfd.org to apply.”

2015 Breakfast Grant Deadlines Announced

Rise & Shine Illinois 2015 grants are available for up to $5,000 each.  

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis with the following deadlines: 

February 15 — April 15 — June 15 — August 15 — October 15

To be connected with a School Breakfast Coordinator and begin the application process, please click here or email schoolbreakfast@gcfd.org.  See grant details below:

Purpose:

Grants will support schools with the purchase of approved equipment, materials and initiatives facilitating alternative breakfast delivery models (such as Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab N Go, or Second Chance Breakfast) in an effort to increase child participation in universal School Breakfast.

Eligibility:

Applying schools must either be implementing or be prepared to implement an alternative breakfast delivery model. Successful models include collaboration of everyone in the school district; including the School Principal, Teachers, the Food Service Nutrition Director, and the Superintendent. All applications must have authorized approval by the School Principal and Food Service Nutrition Director. (more…)

Taylorville: A shining example of breakfast success

WCIA News 3 Springfield covers the success of Breakfast in the Classroom at Memorial Elementary in Taylorville, Il.  With the help of a Rise & Shine Illinois grant, Memorial was able to implement the model in Fall of 2014.

Teachers were initially leery of the program, fearful of messes in the classroom and rowdiness, but quite the opposite has taken place.  In addition to nearly doubling breakfast participation in this high-need school, Breakfast in the Classroom has helped teachers and students alike – filling students bellies and calming them down before lessons start while allowing teachers to get organized and start the day off quicker with a classroom full of attentive, satisfied students.

Local ad agency announces Rise & Shine campaign

Downtown Partners Chicago launches ad campaign to spotlight student hunger

By Lewis Lazare, Chicago Business Journal

NOVEMBER 20, 2014 — The holidays are one of the most important times of the year for the Greater Chicago Food Depository, which has as its goal ensuring that local residents do not have to experience the hardships of going hungry.

The Food Depository recently recruited Downtown Partners Chicago to create an ad campaign and a website that focus attention on one of the Depository’s newest programs to prevent hunger — Rise and Shine Illinois.

Launched earlier this fall, Rise and Shire aims to make free breakfasts widely available in schools for young children who may not be living in a household where they can get that important first meal of the day.

In announcing the new school breakfast program in September, Greater Chicago Food Depository CEO Kate Maehr said: “We believe school breakfast is a critical tool in addressing hunger. Making breakfast available gives children the nutrients and energy they need to thrive in an academic setting.” (more…)