Officials to launch free summer meals program in Illinois

(U.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr)

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 event 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.

Find Summer Meals in Your Community

Nutritious free meals are available for children and teens 18 and younger at many locations throughout the nation throughout the summer while school is out of session. Use the mapping tool below to find a site near you.

Site information for 2017 will start becoming available in early May. New sites will be added throughout the summer. Please check back often for updated information.

To find sites serving meals near you, follow these steps: 1) Click "Find Sites" on map below; 2) Enter address, city, state, and zip code; 3) Click locate; 4) Click on any blue dot;