During the summer, children and teens who receive free and reduced-price meals at school often lack access to food and go hungry. We work with community organizations to fill the gap and provide healthy meals through our Lunch Bus and Summer Meal sites. These programs provide children and teens with access to nutritious food in convenient neighborhood sites such as libraries, parks and community centers.
Find a Summer Meal Site Near You
This map displays all approved Summer Meals sites. It includes sites sponsored by the Food Depository and sites partnering with other summer meal sponsors. Search for a site near you or text FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877 for help finding a site.
Summer 2021 Updates
We are taking extra precautions to keep people safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19 during food distributions. This summer, the following changes apply to Summer Meal/Lunch Bus sites:
- “Grab-and-go” meals: Youth or their parents/caregivers will be able to pick up meals for anyone 18 years old and under in the household during specified meal service times. Youth will not be required to consume meals on site.
- Meals for multiple days: On each distribution day, boxes of pre-packed breakfast and lunch meals will be provided.
- Social distancing and safety precautions: Sites will be modifying how meals are distributed following social distancing guidelines. It is important that the following guidelines are followed when visiting, in addition to the guidance of the CDC, and local and state health agencies:
- Watch for symptoms of COVID-19 or illness, and stay home when appropriate.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover or mask.
- Wash your hands frequently.
In collaboration with schools and community organizations, the Food Depository has distributed nutritious meals throughout Cook County since 2004. Summer meal sites serve free meals to anyone 18 years old and under. In summer 2020, the Food Depository distributed more than 350,000 meals in partnership with summer feeding sites.
The Lunch Bus
The Food Depository launched the Lunch Bus mobile meals program in June 2010. As a part of our summer response to connect youth to nutritious meals, the Lunch Bus distributes free nutritious lunches to anyone 18 years old and under in priority communities in Cook County during the summer months.
- The Lunch Bus travels to sites throughout Chicago and the suburbs.
- In summer 2020, the Lunch Bus distributed more than 57,000 meals.
- Lunch Bus meals are reimbursed by the Summer Food Service Program of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).