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Restaurants Step Up With Free Food As Chicago Public Schools Suspends Meal Program

Chicago’s hospitality industry continues to serve the community even in uncertain times

As School Ends For Summer, The Need For Free Meals For Children Remains
Chicago Public Schools suspended its grab-and-go meals Monday.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Chicago Public Schools announced around late Sunday night that it would suspend Monday’s grab-and-go meal sites for students “based on the evolving nature of activity across the city,” leaving thousands of families were left to figure out another way to feed their children, the Sun-Times reported.

CPS CEO Janice Jackson said in a press conferenced Monday that all 18,000 previously scheduled meal deliveries will be completed. The district aims to restart meal pickup on Tuesday, and says those facing dire food emergencies can call (773) 553-KIDS for assistance.

Over the weekend, Chicago saw crowds protesting police brutality and the killing of George Floyd. The city has seen numerous non-violent protests since last week, as well as looting and vandalism of area businesses. This comes on top of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The third-largest district in the U.S., CPS has distributed more than 12 million meals over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, which has emptied classrooms across the city, state, and country. The widely praised program allows families to pick up meals at more than 270 schools from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekdays. More than 75 percent of CPS students came from low-income families in 2019.

Some local restaurants are now stepping in to fill the void and make sure kids don’t go hungry because of the suspension. Below, find an ongoing list of establishments offering free meals. Chicago dining editor Amy Cavanaugh compiled a Twitter thread as well. Availability and hours vary, so check social media for the latest updates.

Feel free to email with tips about restaurants offering meals. This list will be updated periodically if need be.

B&B Ice Cream & Candy (Auburn Gresham)

Bokeh (Albany Park)

Cesar’s Killer Margaritas (Lakeview, Boystown)

Mi Tocaya Antojería (Logan Square)

Urban Grill (Uptown)

Mi Tocaya Antojería

2800 West Logan Boulevard, , IL 60647 (872) 315-3947 Visit Website


4716 North Kedzie Avenue, , IL 60625 (773) 754-0129 Visit Website

Cesar's Killer Margaritas

3166 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657 (773) 248-2835 Visit Website