News and events

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.

DeKalb SD 428 Shout Out!

After receiving a $13,800 grant from Rise & Shine Illinois and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign the DeKalb School District began its Second Chance Breakfast Program. Students can grab a nutritional breakfast after the bell rings and between first and second period. The full story can be read on the Daily Chronicle’s website.


National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) is the first week in March and was established to raise awareness of the availability of the School Breakfast Program to all children. During this week, schools put their breakfast programs on display. The #NSBW19 theme is “Start Your Engines With School Breakfast,” which is designed to show parents, students, and school officials the benefits of fueling up for the day with a healthy school breakfast.

4 Things You Can Do During NSBW to Celebrate

  1. Apply for a Breakfast After the Bell grant before the March 4th deadline. If you have already received a grant from us and are seeking additional funds email Sr. Manager of Children’s Nutrition and Advocacy Outreach, Monique Batteast at
  2. Email Communications Associate Manager, Rudi Hancock at with a few sentences and a couple of pictures of what’s going on in your school during this week/month. We will shout out your school’s activities with posts on Rise & Shine Facebook and Twitter Pages.
  3. Copy and paste the following message on Facebook:


4. Encourage one colleague or friend to sign up for the Rise & Shine Illinois monthly e-newsletter.

Fall Peer-To-Peer Site Visits

Peer-to-Peer site visits provide schools/districts considering implementing or have already implemented a Breakfast After the Bell program with the opportunity to see how the Breakfast After the Bell program works live and in action. The site visits also provide a networking opportunity for schools/districts.



Rise & Shine Illinois will host a Peer-to-Peer site visit at Elmwood Park High School (Second Chance Breakfast Model) located at 8201 W. Fullerton Avenue, Elmwood Park, Friday October 5, 2018 from 8:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. For more information and to register click here.

Rise & Shine Illinois will host a Peer-to-Peer Site Visit at Perspectives Charter School (Grab ‘N’ Go Breakfast Model) located on 8131 S. May Street, Chicago, Tuesday, September 25, 2018 from 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. For more information and to register click here.

Breakfast After the Bell Grant

Rise and Shine Illinois in partnership with No Kid Hungry will provide Breakfast After the Bell grants up to $5,000 to support schools with the purchase of approved equipment, materials and initiatives facilitating Breakfast After the Bell delivery models such as (Breakfast In the Classroom, Grab ‘N’ Go, Second Chance).

Application Due Dates:

September 28, 2018

November 16, 2018

March 4, 2019

Click grant for more information and to apply.


Rise & Shine Illinois in partnership with No Kid Hungry provided grants to help organizations expand access to and participation in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) supported and Illinois State Board of Education administered Summer Meals Program.

The following Sponsors were awarded mini-grants up to $5,000 to help with equipment, transportation, and other non-food program expenses:

Archdiocese of Chicago
Boys & Girls Club of Elgin
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago
Clay County Health Department, Flora
Douglas County Health Department, Tuscola
First Free Will Baptist Church, Johnston City
High Jump, Chicago
Lincoln Elementary School District 27, Lincoln
New Bethel M. B. Church, East Saint Louis
River Bend Foodbank, Davenport

The following Sponsors were awarded capacity building grants up to $10,000 to expand and enhance their program:

Chicago PSD-Network OII, Chicago
Harrisburg Community Unit School District 3, Harrisburg
Northern Illinois Food Bank, Geneva


Congratulations to the 2018 Spring Breakfast Grant Recipients

Rise & Shine Illinois School Breakfast Grants brought to you by No Kid Hungry supports schools implementing or preparing to implement a Breakfast After the Bell delivery model (Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab ‘N’ Go, or Second Chance Breakfast) with the purchase of approved equipment, supplies, or materials to facilitate increased student participation in school breakfast.

Abbott Middle School, Elgin
Beach Park Middle School, Beach Park
Bloomington High School, Bloomington
Bond Elementary School, Assumption
Costello School, Lyons
Danville High School, Danville
Edison Elementary School, Lyons
George Washington Middle School, Lyons
Gregory Intermediate School, Moweaqua
Home Elementary School, Lyons
Irving Elementary School, Bloomington
J W Robinson School, Lyons
Lincoln Elementary School, Lyons
Main Street School, Shelbyville
Petersburg Elementary School, Petersburg
Rantoul Township High School, Rantoul
Shelbyville Kindergarten Center, Shelbyville
Taylorville Junior High School, Taylorville
Thornton Fractional South High School, Lansing
Triad High School, Troy
Triad Middle School, Troy
West Elementary School, Zion


Sign up to receive email updates from the Rise and Shine Illinois campaign.