Summer vacation does not mean needy children have to go without breakfast and lunch. The Illinois State Board of Education is administering a USDA program to hand out 4 million meals this summer. This will not only help kids now, but also when they go back to school. ISBE spokeswoman Mary Fergus says that’s because, in many cases, “They haven’t been eating properly during the summer … (or) getting exercised; whereas, if they are fully participating in a program like this, they have access to breakfast and lunch, hopefully, they are ready to go when the school bell rings again in August.”
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Fergus says about 106,000 kids participated in the program last year – only about 14 percent of those eligible.