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Food Research and Action Center
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:11pm
Mon Jun 27, 2016

Illinois Expands Reach Of Summer Meal Programs, But 686,000 Kids Still Missing Out

More low-income Illinois children are participating in summer meal programs, but there are still nearly 686,000 eligible kids missing out, a new report shows.

About 112,000 low-income Illinois children received summer meals on a daily basis last July, according to the report by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), a national anti-hunger group.

That figure represents a 4.7 percent increase from July 2014, when about 107,000 low-income Illinois children accessed summer meal programs each day.

While advocates are pleased by the 4.7 percent increase, they point out that summer meals are reaching only one in seven low-income Illinois children who need them.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:57pm
Tue Mar 19, 2013

How The Ryan Budget Would Impact Food Assistance For The Needy

More than 2 million low-income individuals in Illinois rely on the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for food aid, but the program could face a big setback under U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R, WI-1) proposed budget released last week.

Ryan’s plan aims to block grant the flexible SNAP program, which has about 47 million participants.

Under the plan, the federal government would give pots of cash to states to run the program, leaving them to customize it to their recipients’ needs and determine eligibility requirements.  

“Like Medicaid, SNAP suffers from a flawed structure,” the budget plan says. “States receive more money if they enroll more people in the program — so their incentive is to get people onto the rolls. They have little incentive to help people get off the rolls and find work. In fact, these programs make it harder to become independent.”

That’s not the right approach, said Beverly Henry, associate professor of nutrition and dietetics at Northern Illinois University’s College of Health and Human Sciences.