Food help expanded for kids shut out of school by pandemic

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois’ governor says as many as 1 million Illinois schoolchildren will get more nutritious meals after state officials received an expansion of a federally subsidized pandemic-relief program.

Illinois was one of 16 states that sought additional assistance from the U.S. Agriculture Department’s program. Gov. J.B. Pritzker said at a news conference Tuesday that Illinois will more than double the benefits it had been receiving and reach an additional 200,000 children.

Pritzker’s Public Health Department announced 1,665 confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, with 27 more deaths, bringing the total to 1,177,320 cases leading to 20,330 deaths.