CHICAGO — Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today announced the expansion of popular free summer access programs provided to students to bridge one school year to the next and promote a safe and healthy summer. Both Safe Haven and citywide summer feeding programs, including CPS’ expanded LunchStop program, will expand this summer to ensure that families in every part of the city have access to nutritious meals and enrichment programs during the summer.
“I want to thank our dedicated community partners for their unwavering commitment to keeping our children safe and filling their summers with valuable activities and experiences,” said CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “Everyone in the community shares a responsibility to keep our children safe and provide opportunities that will allow them to succeed. We are grateful that our faith leaders and food service partners share our commitment to providing wholesome summer programs and the children they serve.”
The Safe Haven program will expand to 110 sites across the city, offering free programs that help keep school-aged children off the streets and engaged in educational activities throughout the summer. The program runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, between June 30 and August 8th.
Since 2009, Save Haven programs have engaged tens of thousands of students through activities and programs available within their own neighborhoods. Each site provides a variety of services to children, including reading programs, tutoring, performing arts and the opportunity work with college graduates and mentors from the church communities. This year’s programming will have a special focus on anti-bullying themes, engaging students in both educational and social-emotional activities that will prepare them for the next academic year.
Each of the 110 locations will provide students free breakfast and lunch through CPS’s partnership with New Life Ministries. For a list of Safe Haven locations and contact information, please visit: www.cps.edu/SafeHaven.
Summer feeding programs begin as early as June 16 at some locations, and will provide children 18 and under with access to free, nutritious meals between the hours of 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. With the expansion of both summer feeding sites inside of schools and LunchStop carts outside of schools this year, children across the city will have access to free meals at more than 300 sites. For more information and a list of school locations, please visit www.learnwellcps.org
For more than a decade, CPS and partner organizations have been administering an average of 800,000 meals to students across the city during summer break. In a District where eight out of every 10 students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, summer break can mean for some students a lack of adequate access to food.
With the expansion of CPS’ LunchStop program to 35 outdoor sites this year, along with nearly 300 summer feeding sites housed within schools and other community centers, CPS and community partners hope to provide children with access to quality meals during the summer. For more information on how families can access free summer meals, please visit www.learnwellcps.org.
Chicago Public Schools serves 400,000 students in 658 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.