Summertime is usually a welcome break for kids. But for those dependent on free lunch programs at school, July and August can mean a long day without.
Thousands of kids in Chicago wake up every day in the summer not knowing what or when they’ll be able to eat. The Chicago Food Depository is working hard to change that with “Lunch Buses.”
Four “lunch buses” are loaded with sandwiches and milk every day and canvass neighborhoods from Little Village to South Holland.
“70 percent of kids who are eligible for reduced or free breakfast and lunches eat those meals during the school year, but during the summer, only 14% of kids get those meals,” says Paul Morello of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. “(The busses make) 24 stops everyday throughout the summer, Monday through Friday and distributes about 1000 meals every single day to hungry kids in our community.”
Since the summertime lunch buses set out seven years ago, the lines of waiting kids keeps getting longer. And that’s a good thing because that gap of kids who would normally go without is getting smaller