Following up on an invitation extended during Agudath Israel of Illinois’ mission to Springfield in March, Senator Dan Biss (D – Evanston) visited the KiwiKids lunch program at the Arie Crown Hebrew Day School this week.
KiwiKids, Kids Wellness Initiative, is a school lunch program that provides healthy and delicious meals in accordance with the guidelines of the National School Lunch Program. Many schools around the country participate in the government subsidized NSLP, however, since the sliding scale used by the USDA to determine eligibility does not take into account the needs of an Orthodox Jewish family, many parents find themselves ineligible to receive the government subsidy, yet unable to afford full price meals. Through the innovative KiwiKids initiative, participating families in Chicago are offered a meal coupon which lowers the cost of full price lunches, enabling ALL children to participate. This has resulted in a lunch enrollment of close to 90%.
After the visit, the senator met with some of the staff and lay leadership of Agudath Israel and Arie Crown Hebrew Day School. They discussed how vital Agudath Israel’s school bus transportation program is to the school’s existence. They also talked about the school’s rapid growth and need for a new building. The school leadership is currently strategizing how to make that dream into a reality.