STATELINE – Nutritious meals will again be available to children in the Rock River Valley through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), offered at 30 area sites that provide summer activities for youth. The 2013 program will kick-off on June 10 at 11:45am at Northwest Community Center, 1325 N. Johnston Ave. in Rockford.
“Last year, SFSP provided nearly 1,400 free lunches to area children and, for some, that was their only meal of the day,” reported Christopher Greenwood, Community Health and Prevention Coordinator for the City of Rockford Human Services Department, which manages the program locally. “We feel fortunate to be able to offer this program in our community, and are pleased that a local organization, Lifescape Community Services, will be preparing and providing the meals and snacks.”
In 2012, 2.3 million children participated nationally in the Summer Food Service Program – a fraction of the 21.5 million children who qualify for free and reduced-price lunches and depend on those meals they get at school. Hunger is one of the most severe roadblocks to the learning process. Lack of nutrition during the summer months may set up a cycle for poor performance once school begins again. Hunger also may make children more prone to illness and other health issues. The Summer Food Service Program is designed to fill that nutrition gap and make sure children are kept nourished and engaged.
The participating sites, located in both Winnebago and Boone Counties, are non-profit organizations and local recreation centers that are either in close proximity to a school where over 50% of the children receive free/reduced lunch, or the sites serve a group of children where most of them are from low-income families. SFSP enables these sites to offer nutritious lunches and snacks to children ages 18 and under as part of their summer programming. Residents should contact the participating sites for their individual program details.
The Summer Food Service Program is operated nationally by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by the Illinois State Board of Education.
2013 Summer Food Sites for Winnebago and Boone Counties
Beattie Playground, 1221 Rural St.
Blackhawk Boys & Girls Club, 330 15th Ave.
Bloom Playground, 2901 Pelham Rd.
Booker Washington, 524 Kent St
Churchill Park, 202-7th St.
Fairgrounds Valley, 1015 W. Jefferson
First Covenant Church, 316 Wood Rd.
Flodin Boys & Girls Club, 1000 Mill Rd.
Harmon Park, 1928 East Gate Parkway
Highland Park, 3011 Rural St.
KenRock Community Center, 3218 – 11th St.
Keye-Mallquist Park, 1702-11th St.
Mt. Sinai Baptist Church, 1901 W. State St.
Northwest Community Center, 1325 N. Johnston Ave.
Orton Keyes, 633 Ranger St.
Patriots Gateway, 615 S. 5th St.
RESA Youth & Teen Program, 1800 Ogilby Rd.
Ridge Park, 3317 Ridge Ave.
Rockford Boys & Girls Club at Second Congregational Church, 318 N. Church St.
Rockford Park District at Lewis Lemon, 1993 Mulberry St.
St. Paul Church of God in Christ, 1001 Bishop Washington Ave.
Salvation Army, 210 Kilburn Ave.
St. Elizabeth Community Center, 1536 S. Main St.
Washington Park, 3617 Delaware St.
YMCA (Downtown), 200 Y Blvd.
YMCA Camp Winnebago, 5804 N. Main St.
YMCA Teen Reach at West Middle School, 1900 N. Rockton Ave.
Wantz Park, 600 Clifford Ave.
YMCA Northeast Branch, 8451 Orth Rd.
Ida Public Library, 320 N. State St.