Hunger can often be invisible. Help us ensure that no child goes hungry this summer.
We have a comprehensive list of places where you can find free meal distribution for kids in the communities of Champaign, Urbana, Rantoul and Mahomet while school is out
While many of us may spend the summer lazily snacking all day, the reality is that in our communities, hunger is a significant problem — especially among children. Many kids who rely on school meals struggle to get enough to eat during the summer months.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture partners with local agencies nationwide to serve free meals to children during the summer months. Agencies in our area include Champaign Unit 4 School District and Urbana District 116. Any child under age 18 is eligible for free meals; there are no restrictions or residency requirements.
To locate a site near you, visit SummerMealsIllinois.org, call the Illinois Hunger Hotline at (800) 359-2163 or text FoodIL to 877877. Se habla español. (Note that this site may identify school buildings belonging to a participating district that are not actually serving as distribution sites for that district.)
Champaign Urbana Public Health District: CUPHD is a site for the Summer Food Program, which offers nutritious meals to any child ages 1-18 from the time school lets out in June until school begins again in August. Meals — breakfast and lunch in one bag — are provided in the CUPHD lobby from 9-11 a.m., Monday-Friday; grab-and-go, parents can pick up for their kids. CUPHD is located at 201 W. Kenyon Road in Champaign. For more info call (217) 531-4264.
Champaign Unit 4 School District: Unit 4’s summer meal distribution for anyone 18 and under started on June 1. You do not need to be a Unit 4 student to pick up meals. These will be grab-and-go meals. Each child will receive a ready-to-eat lunch for that day and a breakfast for the next morning. More information, including an extensive list of school and neighborhood pick-up locations, can be found here. (Note that pickup dates and times for each location vary, so check back often to confirm a site’s continued operation.) Call the Unit 4 Food Service office at (217) 351-3852 with questions.
Candlewood Estates: Open to all kids, free lunches in Mahomet will began June 1, 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m, Monday through Friday. Lunch is served at the Pool House of Candlewood Estates, 808 N. Prairieview Road, by area church groups. Contact the office at Candlewood Estates with questions, (217) 586-4937.
Mahomet Area Youth Club: Also a site for the Summer Food Program. Lunch + snack served in a grab-and-go bag, available between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday-Friday at the Mahomet Area Youth Club, 700 W. Main St. Parents may pick up for their kids. For more info please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rantoul City Schools: The Summer Food Service Program serves free breakfast and lunch to all kids and teens, 18 years and younger. Pickup sites vary by date (and time) and include Broadmeadow Elementary, 500 Sunview Road; Eastlawn Elementary, 650 N. Maplewood Dr.; J.W. Eater Jr. High, 400 E. Wabash Ave. For more information call Rantoul City Schools Food Service at (217) 893-5454.
Rantoul Youth Center: The Summer Food Program is offered to all children 18 and under at the Rantoul Youth Center, 1306 Country Club Lane, Monday thru Friday, May 24 through Aug. 14. Meals can be picked up or the child can eat at the Youth Center. To get on a list for take-out meals call (217) 893-5700.
Urbana School District 116 will make seven days of breakfasts and lunches (including Saturday and Sunday meals) available for curbside pickup on Wednesdays from 1 – 2 p.m. Pickup sites include Urbana Middle School as well as Yankee Ridge, Dr. Williams, and King Elementary Schools. For more information email email@example.com or call (217) 384-3501.
Is there a site in our area providing free summer meals to kids that we missed? Please email us and let us know so we can keep this post updated.