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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.

PI Original
by Ray Quintanilla
3:39pm
Fri Jun 24, 2016

Can ‘Miss Obamacare’ Save Health Care? Enrolling Latinos Is Critical

Progress Illinois talks to one of the local players involved in getting a key demographic enrolled in Obamacare.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:29pm
Fri Jun 10, 2016

Federal Funding Saves Illinois Pediatric AIDS Prevention Group From Closure

HIV-positive mothers and their unborn babies are benefiting from an 11th-hour infusion of federal funding that saved an Illinois nonprofit from closing due to the state budget impasse.

Anne Statton, executive director of the Pediatric AIDS Chicago Prevention Initiative (PACPI), said approximately $500,000 in available federal funds was released to the organization by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The funds will cover outstanding invoices for contracted services PACPI performed between July 2015 and March 2016, Statton said.

PACPI, which works to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmissions, depends on IDPH for about 85 percent of its funding. Currently, the organization has state contracts that collectively total about $845,000.

Without the federal funding, PACPI would have been forced to shut down in October.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:55pm
Thu Jun 9, 2016

Chicago’s Southeast Siders Secure Petcoke Victory, Detail Next Steps In Campaign

Chicago’s far Southeast Side residents are applauding progress in their campaign against petcoke storage in their community, but say they aren’t done fighting for a complete city ban on the oil refining byproduct.

Speaking at a press conference Thursday morning, members of the Southeast Side Coalition to Ban Petcoke said they secured a major victory now that, under a city order, a company storing petcoke in their community can no longer have uncovered outdoor piles of the material.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
5:26pm
Thu Jun 9, 2016

Number Of Chicago Public Schools With High Lead Levels Ticks Up To 12

High lead levels have been found in the drinking water at 11 additional Chicago public schools, according to new reports.

After a pilot program found high levels of lead in three water fountains at Tanner Elementary on the city’s South Side last month, Chicago Public Schools officials announced plans to test the water at every school in the district.

The district is currently testing water at schools built prior to 1986 as those sites are more likely to have lead service lines. The district is also testing the water at schools with prekindergarten programs. Water in Chicago schools had not been previously tested for the heavy metal before the discovery at Tanner Elementary.

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