CHICAGO (WLS) -- As summer begins, Chicago Public Schools is offering free meals to kids at nearly 100 locations around the city. The program will run all summer, from June 24 to August 23.
"We've been running this program since 2012. Last year we actually served 153,000 meals. And so we're really hoping to surpass that number this year," said Chemica Brown, Business Operations Manager for Chicago Public Schools' Nutrition Support Services.
Anyone 18 and under is eligible for the free meal; they do not have to be a CPS student. Meals include fresh fruit like plums and watermelons, along with sandwiches and salads. Every site offers both vegetarian and meat options.
"We're looking forward to everyone coming on out, enjoying the meals, but also enjoying some fun activities," Brown said.
For the first four days of the program, CPS is hosting kick off events at different meal locations with activities for kids and families. On Tuesday, that kickoff was held at Richard Henry Lee Elementary School in the West Lawn neighborhood.
"My kids are having a blast," said Susan Guerrero, who brought two children to the kick-off event at Lee Elementary. "I think it's really awesome the way that they're kind of taking care of children over the summer. Making sure that they get at least one nutritious meal."
To find the nearest free meal location, visit cps.edu/summermealsmap and enter your address into the search bar. Blue and yellow pins mark Lunch Stop locations.
CPS offers free summer meals to all children 18 and under throughout Chicago
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