Chicago Public Schools begins its summer meals programs

The CPS programs have locations throughout the city for kids to get free breakfast and lunch.

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A parent and child receive a bag containing food in a CPS program offering free lunch.

Chicago Public Schools offers free, nutritionally balanced breakfast and lunch as part of the summer meals program at Bateman Elementary School.

Brian Rich/Sun-Times

Chicago Public Schools will provide free meals to children in the city of Chicago over the summer break with the start of its LunchStop and Summer Meals programs.

The programs, which started Monday, offers healthy breakfast and lunch options to children ages 1 to 18 living in Chicago in partnership with the Summer Food Service Program. The meals are available to all children; they do not have to be a CPS student.

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“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.”

The Summer Meals program, which offers free breakfast and lunch, runs Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and LunchStop, which only offers lunch, also runs Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to noon.

Both programs last until Aug. 12 and meals can be picked up at any of the 73 schools throughout the district.

To find a meal pickup location, go to cps.edu/mealsites, or parents can text “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 304-304 to get a nearby location to pick up the free meals.

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