Cooking up some food for students this summer - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Cooking up some food for students this summer

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PEORIA, Ill. (WEEK) -- -

School is coming to an end! 

For many kids they can't wait to enjoy all the summer fun, but there are some kids in our area who worry this time of year. That's because many are afraid they won't know where their next meal will come from. 

"We have a high risk, what's called an at-risk population, here in Peoria. Some of our families, some of our kids, struggle to have a meal," stated Mark Streamer, general manager of food services at Peoria Public Schools.

We wanted to know what food programs are offered for these kids. We learned there are many organizations stepping up to the plate. 

Peoria Public Schools are sponsoring food programs at about 30 different sites around the area. Together those sites plan to serve around 90,000 breakfast and lunches to students 18 and younger. 

"Our mission is to find those kids. Where are they? How can we get meals to them?" added Streamer. 

Common Place in Peoria has a similar mission in mind. 

"Sometimes summer is not so exciting. If you live in a food desert and if you have to walk or take the bus to go get your groceries," said Executive Director of Common Place, Pamela Rumba. 

Rumba said kids need to eat so that they feel secure. 

"If you are insecure about your next meal, if you don't know when you are going to eat, it's human nature to feel concerned and stressed," added Rumba. 

They'll be serving breakfast and lunch to around 200 hundred kids this summer. 

Common Place will also have a snack pack program where kids take home food for the weekend. 

"Snack packs allow the kids to have an energy level over the weekend so they can take advantage of activities that are going on," said Rumba. 

Common Place and the school district know families face hard situations, which is why they are taking initiative to help. 

"Parents do their best. God bless the parents because they really do their very best," stated Rumba. 

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