The Oak Park River Forest summer meals site launched their programming this week with their “Meet Up & Eat Up” kick-off event. Families convened at St. Catherine of Siena-St. Lucy Catholic Church, the site of the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry’s summer meals program. Kids enjoyed an afternoon of activities, games, face paint and lunch. This site will offer a meal throughout the summer Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Kelsie Kliner, the Food Depository’s senior manager of child and adult program operations, spoke at the event. She excited parents and children about summer meals.
“For us, the summer meal program is really important. In Cook County, we know that nearly 200,000 children are at risk of hunger, so the summer meal program really helps fill that gap,” Kelsie says.
“We do all of our work through partnerships and we have amazing partners, like this one, that step up to offer quality programming and meals when kids are not in school. This is an amazing event that is really kicking off the start of summer. This is day one.”
The summer meals program is offered in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture, the Illinois Board of Education and sponsors throughout Illinois, including the Greater Chicago Food Depository. The program offers meals at various sites to help ensure that children who receive free or reduced price lunches at school don’t go hungry during the summer. St. Catherine of Siena-St. Lucy Catholic Church is one of more than 250 locations in Cook County where the Food Depository distributes summer meals.