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.
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 2019, the Food Depository distributed 447,900 meals in partnership with 230 summer feeding sites.
The Food Depository is currently accepting applications to host a summer meal program in 2021. Apply now.
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 2019, the Lunch Bus distributed more than 12,800 meals.
- Lunch Bus meals are reimbursed by the Summer Food Service Program of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).