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.
Update: 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, 6/1.— Chicago Public Schools (@ChiPubSchools) June 1, 2020
Staff will telework, and remote learning will proceed as scheduled.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with tips about restaurants offering meals. This list will be updated periodically if need be.
B&B Ice Cream & Candy (Auburn Gresham)
- Free meals for community residents in need at 2 p.m. Supporters can donate via Cash App at $BBIceCreamandCandy.
Bokeh (Albany Park)
- Free meals for kids from 12 p.m. on while supplies last, no questions asked.
Cesar’s Killer Margaritas (Lakeview, Boystown)
- Free boxed meals will be available for pickup from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Mi Tocaya Antojería (Logan Square)
- 350 free meals “for anyone who is in need of a good meal from the heart,” starting at 11 a.m. at Kelvyn Park High School.
Urban Grill (Uptown)
- Free meals for CPS students from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.