March 26, 2017
Program director Melissa Mister (above left) and instructor Sgt. Daniel Allen (above right) of After School Matters tell NBC 5’s LeeAnn Trotter about how the Beyond… More ›
Through a generous anonymous donation, After School Matters collaborates with Gate Gourmet to help feed Chicago teens, their families and program instructors
CHICAGO—After School Matters, Chicago’s largest provider of after school and summer programs for high school teens, has teamed up with Gate Gourmet to distribute up to 7,000 free box meals per week to After School Matters teens, their families and program instructors in the wake of the current COVID-19 health pandemic.
Made possible through the support of an anonymous donor, the collaboration provides free meals to support teens, their families and instructors of After School Matters, while also helping the airline catering company keep staff employed during a time when the industry faces a decline in passenger travel of 95 percent (New York Times, April 9, 2020).
The meal distribution began April 13 and is available two days each week at two Chicago locations. After School Matters teens and/or their family members as well as program instructors can come to one of the locations to pick up three meals per person. Meals are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, and After School Matters identification is not required. As recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, it is encouraged to wear a mask or other face covering in public. For the latest information on After School Matters resources, visit: afterschoolmatters.org/asm-together
Meal distribution locations and hours:
The Michael & Karyn Lutz Center for After School Matters
3435 N. Cicero Ave., Chicago 60641 | Mondays and Fridays, 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.
James Jordan Boys & Girls Club
2102 W. Monroe St., Chicago 60612 | Mondays and Fridays, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Additionally, St. Sabina Social Services Center is offering Gate Gourmet meal boxes to After School Matters teens, instructors and their families each week:
St. Sabina Social Services Center
1120 W. 79th Street, Chicago 60620 | Mondays and Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
“For nearly 30 years, After School Matters has worked to improve the lives—and futures—of teens all across Chicago through their world-class programming, and now, more than ever, it’s important we are there for them,” said Chicago First Lady and After School Matters Board Member, Amy Eshleman. “The After School Matters reach is vast, with teens in each zip code of our city, and we are working diligently every day to make sure they all feel supported during these unprecedented and challenging times.”
After School Matters engages nearly 19,000 Chicago teens each year through life-changing, world-class opportunities in after-school and summer programs in the arts, communications and leadership, sports and STEM.
Following guidance from state and city officials, as well as Chicago Public Schools, After School Matters stopped in-person instruction of its spring session programs on March 14—this includes 475 programs serving nearly 6,900 teens in all neighborhoods of Chicago.
“Our team remains resolute in our commitment to supporting Chicago teens. Many After School Matters participants and their families are currently facing difficult circumstances, and this meal distribution is an important part of the collection of essential services our program instructors and staff are providing to help persevere through this time,” said After School Matters CEO Mary Ellen Caron.
Many After School Matters teens depend on the organization’s programs as a safe and secure place to go each day, as well as the financial stipend they receive from participating. To continue to provide support to and engagement with Chicago teens during the pandemic, After School Matters staff and instructors are providing a range of services—financial support, food access, and programming.
After School Matters is continuing to pay instructors and provide teens with participation stipends in order to ensure financial resources continue to flow to communities—totaling $1.5 million in instructor pay and $2.2 million in teen stipends supporting economies across Chicago.
While After School Matters programs aren’t meeting in person, instructors are connecting with teens in their programs to ensure engagement and learning continues. Video chat check-ins and enrichment newsletters provide teens with resources to their content area, projects to try at home, as well as resources for necessities. In addition to engaging with teens remotely, instructors are sharing activities, tips, and playlists on social media under #ASMTogether, including ways to stay active at home, concerts, simple recipes, meditation, and more.
To support After School Matters and our work engaging thousands of teens across Chicago, visit: afterschoolmatters.org/support-us/give-now.