Children giggle and squirm waiting to open the red and white box. Inside, the children find a peach, carrots, chocolate milk, and a turkey sandwich. The meals are provided at 26 sites around the Rockford-area.
For many children who receive free or reduced-priced meals throughout the school year, the summer food program ensures they have proper nutrition during the hottest times of the year.
Joe Leach is the Director of Youth Services at Ken-Rock Community Center in Rockford. He says the meals help the center keep costs down.
"They deliver a lunch and a snack and it’s a nutritious, well-balanced meal that probably saves the center about $7,000 every summer. Without it, we would have to raise the fees of course, meaning most families wouldn’t be able to afford it.” Joe Leach, Ken-Rock Community Center
The federally funded program is operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the Illinois State Board of Education. The City of Rockford Human Services Department manages the program locally.
2012 Summer Food Site List
Kishwaukee Family YMCA, 2500 W. Bethany Road, Sycamore
Beattie Playground, 1221 Rural Street, Rockford
Blackhawk Boys and Girls Club, 330 15th Ave., Rockford
Booker Washington, 524 Kent Street, Rockford
Churchill Park, 2002 7th Ave., Rockford
Fairgrounds Valley, 1015 W. Jefferson Street, Rockford
First Evangelical Covenant Church, 316 Wood Street, Rockford
Flodin Boys and Girls Club, 1000 Mill Road, Rockford
Ken-Rock Community Center, 3218 11th Street, Rockford
Keye Mallquist Park, 1702 11th Street, Rockford
Morning Star Baptist Church, 714 3rd Avenue, Rockford
New Zion Baptist Church, 604 Salter Avenue, Rockford
Northwest Community Center, 1325 N. Johnston Avenue, Rockford
Orton Keyes Community Center, 633 Ranger Street, Rockford
Patriots Gateway Center, 615 S. 5th Street, Rockford
RESA Youth and Teen Program (Rockford Park District), 1800 Ogilby Road, Rockford
Rock Valley College-Upward Bound, 3301 N. Mulford Road, Rockford
Rockford Boys and Girls-2nd Congregational Church, 318 N. Church Street Rockford
Rockford Park District-Lewis Lemon, 1993 Mulberry Street, Rockford
Salvation Army, 210 Kilburn Avenue, Rockford
St. Elizabeth Community Center, 1536 S. Main Street, Rockford
St. Paul Church of God in Christ, 1001 Bishop Washington, Rockford
Washington Park Rec. Center, 3617 Delaware, Rockford
YMCA-Camp Winnebago, 5804 N. Main Street Rockford
Northeast Family YMCA, 8451 Orth Road, Loves Park
YMCA-Teen Reach at West Middle School, 1900 N. Rockton Avenue, Rockford