Summer Food Program
Summer Food Program
Lunch at the Library is keeping Virginia’s kids healthy, fed, and engaged during the summer months when school is out. Summer meal programs help combat childhood hunger and obesity when school is out by providing free, healthy meals to children and teens. This will help ensure children and teens go back to school ready to engage in formal learning.
The Public Libraries in Virginia and Virginia Department of Health, are working with libraries across Virginia to offer summer meals and programming designed to provide nourishment and help prevent summer learning loss for children and teens. The project is modeled on the successful California Lunch at the Library program.
Libraries are natural spaces for serving meals to children whose access to lunch disappears when school ends and summer begins. Libraries are community spaces in the heart of the neighborhood. They welcome all and they provide access, free of charge, to resources that support the community’s lifelong needs. Furthermore, public library summer reading programs encourage and enable children and teens to set reading goals, engage them in activities that extend the reading experience, and connect youth with librarians who can help guide their reading choices and become positive role models and adult influences in their lives.
By serving meals and offering complementary literacy programs during the summer, our program is feeding children during the summer and engaging families with their local public library: the one free community space that sustains democracy, levels the playing field, values the individual, nourishes creativity, opens young minds, builds community, supports families, builds technology skills, and offers sanctuary—all free of charge to the user.1 1. See <http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/features/12212010/12-ways-libraries-are-good-country>
Families can also text ‘FOOD’ to 877-877 or call 1-866-3HUNGRY to find a site that serves free meals nearby.
You can help by sharing information about the summer food program with your community. This site includes flyers, sample press releases, social media posts, website images, and more.