Chicago Public Schools

Chicago Public Schools Free Summer Meal Program Begins Monday

Children don't need to be enrolled in CPS schools to receive meals, according to the district.

Girl holding lunch
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Dozens of Chicago Public Schools sites will start distributing free meals to families and children Monday to assist those struggling with keeping food on the table during the summer months.

Meals will be provided at no cost to students enrolled in CPS summer school 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 don't attend CPS schools. The district's LunchStop program, which provides no-cost healthy meals at more than 70 locations citywide, is open to children one to 18 years old.

“We know that hunger does not go away when school doors close,” CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said in a news release. “The summer months can be difficult for families who count on our School Nutrition Program and so we’re excited to once again offer a variety of nutritious meals to help alleviate any stress and keep our students healthy and ready to learn as they return to school in late August.” 

LunchStop takes place from 10 a.m. through 12 p.m. Monday through Friday, beginning Monday. The last day for the program is August 12.

A online tool is available to help families find the nearest LunchStop location. Parents and students can also text "FOOD" or "COMIDA" to 304-304 and type in a zip code to find nearby summer meals sites, along with operating days and times, according to CPS.

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