The CPS plans to resume its grab-and-go meal sites today.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Chicago Public Schools have given out over 12.5 million meals to those in need. On late Sunday night, the district announced that it would suspend its meal sites in the wake of the protests going on throughout the city. With thousands of families, and their children, at a loss of where the meals would come from, restaurants around the city stepped up to the plate.
The CPS district is the third largest in the United States, having 355,000 students in their registrar. 271,000 of those students come from low-income families, while around 17,000 are homeless. To the praise of many of these families, the district set up a meal distribution system at the beginning of the pandemic. However, this became the primary source of food for many families, and when the district announced Sunday that the program would be suspended, those families were left without an idea of how to feed their children.
The decision to suspend the meal system was made by CPS CEO Janice Jackson, who feared for the safety of the families picking up food in the wake of the growing protests.
“Based on the evolving nature of activity across the city, we are suspending grab-and-go meal sites and all other school and administrative office activities tomorrow,” the district posted on social media accounts.
“We don’t have much to give but we want to show our support for the community…we just want to make sure no one goes hungry,” B&B Candy & Ice Cream wrote in a Facebook post that advertised them giving out free hot dogs, fries, chips, and drinks.
While CPS plans to resume their meal distribution today, some of these restaurants are continuing to serve the children.
“We are so blessed to have such a strong community support us. Although CPS is resuming meal service, we will continue to feed those who are hungry. Many of you, our customers, have lost loved ones, homes, your grocery stores, businesses, livelihood. We are here for you. If you need a meal, no questions asked, come from 2-4 pm. We ask for social distance and face masks. We will rise together,” they wrote in an Instagram post.
[Featured image: @mitocaya]