Northern Illinois Food Bank offering free summer meals for all 18 and under in Aurora

ByZach Ben-Amots via WLS logo
Friday, July 5, 2019
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At Blackhawk Park in Aurora, the Northern Illinois Food Bank is partnering with other organizations to provide activities for families at children.

AURORA (WLS) -- As part of the statewide Summer Food Service Program, the Northern Illinois Food Bank is distributing free meals to kids 18 and under at six parks around Aurora every weekday until August 9.

"Currently, with Meals on the Move, we are serving on average about 80 kids every day. Last year, we served about 2,200 kids throughout the whole summer," said Jessica Willis, Child Nutrition Program Manager at the food bank. "Currently, we're already at serving about 1,500 meals since June 3."

The Summer Food Service Program is sponsored by the USDA and Illinois State Board of Education. Nonprofits and school districts throughout out the state are distributing the meals. In Chicago, CPS is providing meals at nearly 100 locations around the city.

At some of the meal sites, outisde organizations are partnering with the lunch program to host activities for families and children.

At Blackhawk Park in Aurora, the Northern Illinois Food Bank is partnering with Stories in the Park, the Aurora Bookmobile, and Art in the Park, overseen by the Fox Valley Park District.

"Working with the food bank is pretty cool because it brings different types of people out. We have people that come out for art and then they don't know about the food program," said park district employee Ciara Walls. "Everything's free so we really just like that- giving back to the community."

Art in the Park will happen on Monday afternoons in Blackhawk Park during the next two weeks.

To find the lunch site closest to you, visit