For children everywhere the end of school means the start of summer. A chance to hang out with friends, go swimming or do nothing at all. It’s usually a time of great joy. But for some children from low-income families, the end of the school year means saying goodbye to school feeding programs which provide them with at least one solid meal a day. In fact, according to a recent study, only 15 percent of children from low-income families in Illinois receive summer meals.
The Salvation Army offers summer feeding programs at its corps community centers to make sure area children don’t go hungry. “The Salvation Army has long led the way to combat hunger. Throughout the division we operate food pantries in our corps, host holiday meals, deliver meals to seniors, feed the homeless and more,” said Captain Nikki Hughes, corps officer at The Salvation Army Adele and Robert Stern Red Shield Center in the Englewood neighborhood. “At the Red Shield Center, we have a pantry and host holiday meals. We also have a lunch program during the summer, which is a natural extension of our outreach and an important one to those who children and families who turn to the school system for help during the rest of the year. Children should not go hungry just because school is out for the summer.”
The Red Shield Center summer feeding program starts on Monday, June 26. Children 17 and younger can get a free lunch 12:30 – 1:15 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, you can contact the Red Shield Center at 773.358.3200.