More Illinois students will need food assistance this summer

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Ill. (WEHT) – With COVID-19 dealing an economic blow to families everywhere, the Illinois Board of Education says more children will need meals from the state’s summer food service program this year.

According to the board, more than four million children received meals from 18,000 different sites last year. With summer getting underway, they say this year they anticipate more children will need food.

“Something we have the flexibility to do now that we didn’t before is that families can actually pick up all the meals for the weeks in one stop. So they can pick up five meals at a time of 10 meals at a time,” said Jackie Matthews, ISBE Director of Media.

The USDA-funded program allows camps, non-profits, religious organizations and educational agencies to get reimbursed for their participation. The board says those groups are finding ways to help while staying safe.

The board is also keeping an eye on rural communities as 35 counties across the state don’t have a meal site in place and are hoping that changes soon.

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(This story was originally published on June 4, 2020)

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