'Lunch Bus' works to feed children in need - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

'Lunch Bus' works to feed children in need

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - For hundreds of children across the city of Chicago, school provides them with an opportunity to eat a healthy, well-rounded meal. But over the summer, food insecurity numbers are higher because many of those children are fed through school lunch programs.

The Chicago Food Depository aims to change that trend through a number of programs. Out of all the children in Cook County who are eligible for school meals, 11 percent get a free lunch in the summer. Some kids spend the summer at camp, the library, or at home - so the Lunch Bus comes to them.

"It's like really more convenient for me when I have my children, nephews and nieces, and the nutrition, is that important? Yes, yes," said Ina Guzman, who utilizes the food bus to feed her children and their cousins.

The Chicago Food Depository started the program in 2010 and the need for food is growing. Here is how it works: a volunteer driver delivers as many lunches as are needed to children 18-years-old and under. There is no need to sign up for the program that serves 4,500 meals a week.

"We saw high level of food insecurity among children. We started by taking the bus to places where there was no program," said Jim Conwell of the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Organizers said that the meal takes the pressure off moms and dads who struggle to feed their families.

"Word gets out, the numbers go up which is good, means we're getting to the people who need it," said volunteer Gloria Rashka.

Wednesday, the bus made a stop at the Richard M. Daley Library, where dozens of children were waiting.

It's estimated that during summer, without the school assistance of breakfast and lunch, a household budget goes up by about $300 a month. That's a stretch for some people.

To find a lunch bus stop, text FOODIL to 877-877.

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