Bulking up on summer food programs
The USDA is aiming to expand summer food programs in Peoria and Rockford. The Illinois Coalition for Community Services is working with the Peoria Housing Authority to meet that call.
The agencies are working together to provide summer food programs at River West and Taft Homes. Jillian Severinski is a community organizer for the coalition. “The program will have one hour of serving time for meals Monday through Friday, June 9th through August 15th with recreational and academic activities going on either before or after the meal.” Severenski says lunch is served from noon to one.
Illinois state board of education statistics estimate 18-thousand Peoria children qualified for free and reduced lunch last year. 14-thousand of those children got meals at school, but in the summer only 200 children were counted in some sort of food program.
It’s not yet clear how many children the Taft and River West food programs may serve. Children 18 and younger qualify.
But those interested in volunteering with the program should call the Peoria Housing Authority. The agencies are particularly interested in working with church and community groups.