Officials to launch free summer meals program in Illinois

Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Federal officials say they’re providing free summer meals for school children at numerous sites across Illinois.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week that there’ll be a kickoff even for the program on June 23 at a Chicago city park.

The state’s Board of Education runs the summer meals program with organizations including the Illinois Hunger Coalition.

The idea is to provide nutritious meals and snacks to children in the months between the school years. Officials say that for 100 children who receive meals through the National School Lunch Programs, only 14 get them through the summer.