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Summer Hard for Illinois Students in Free Lunch Program

By Illinois Public Radio

Chicago – A study by the Illinois Hunger Coalition shows about 80 percent of students in the National School Lunch Program lose access to free breakfasts and lunches over the summer.

About 1,100 sites around the state provide summer meals, but that's down about 30 percent from the year 2000.

Sister Connie Probst of the Illinois Hunger Coalition says that forces low-income families to search for new programs.

"They're looking to churches, they're looking to community-based organizations to help take care of some of that need for them, and help the parents through these difficult months," Probst said.

The Illinois Hunger Coalition says funds for food are available, but red tape often deters organizers from opening new sites.

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