Homework and tests aren’t the only things students go without during the summer. For some, food can also be cut: Those from low-income families who depend on free and reduced-price lunches at school sometimes go without when school is out. That’s why the Illinois State Board of Education is administering the Summer Meal program.
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“Children 18 and younger can go and receive a free breakfast or a free lunch. Most of the sites they do not have to show proof of income or any sort of application in order to receive a meal,” said Mary Fergus, spokeswoman for the board. Last year 63,000 children were fed through the program and Fergus says she hopes that number will increase. “We’ve increased the number of sites this year from about 1,900 last year to 2,100 this year, and these are sites that are all over communities. They can be places of worship, they can be parks, schools, community facilities,” Fergus said.