The past year has seen tangible progress in the fight against hunger and food insecurity in Illinois. But the stark reality is that almost 1.7 million Illinois residents still face food insecurity—greater than the entire populations of Hawaii, Montana or 10 other states. Our work will not cease as long as even one family in Illinois faces food insecurity, defined as a lack of access, at times, to enough food for all household members to engage in an active, healthy lifestyle..
The Commission has established three working groups -- No Kid Hungry, Emergency Food System and Benefits Access -- to develop solutions for hunger across the state, with the help of thousands of elected officials, government employees, volunteers and donors, food banks and partner organizations, faith-based organizations, foundations and community groups. Each working group has developed an action plan to target specific populations and leverage existing infrastructure.
To read the 2016 Commission Report, please click here.
The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP); also known as the Summer Meals program, which is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), provides nutritious meals to kids, age 18 and younger during the summer months.
Many children struggle with food insecurity when school is out during the summer as they no longer have access to free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The Summer Meals program serves meals to children in the summer who rely on free and reduced-price meals during the school year.
The Summer Meals program ensures children's bodies and minds are healthy, strong and ready for the next school year. For more information on the summer meals program visit https://www.isbe.net/sfsp. To find a Summer Meals site near you visit SummerFeedingIllinois.org, call (800) 359-2163, or text FoodIL to 877877.
Beginning with the 2017-18 school year, Illinois schools with a free and reduced-price meals population of 70% or higher will begin offering Breakfast After the Bell – which means serving breakfast as part of the school day. This will help ensure that kids in 890 schools across the state have access to a healthy breakfast to start their day! Currently, the school breakfast program in Illinois is only reaching 47.7% of kids who are eating a free or reduced-price lunch in Illinois, but implementation of Breakfast After the Bell can give more kids the chance to start the day with a healthy breakfast. Read the 2017 School Breakfast Report.