[kids-lib] New York Times article about summer food program.

Katie Anderson katie.anderson at state.or.us
Mon Jul 31 10:32:45 PDT 2017

I thought many of you might be interested in the New York Times article, Free Lunch at the Library<https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/30/well/family/free-lunch-at-the-library.html?_r=0>. Below are some highlights

Free lunch at the library benefits libraries:

*         Hundreds of libraries are now serving federally funded summer meals to children to ensure that they don't go hungry. The change is part of an effort to stay relevant to patrons, and to pair nutrition and educational activities so low-income children get summertime learning, too.

*         summer meals are attracting new patrons. "Our summer lunch effort has pushed more people into our libraries," said Andie Apple, the interim director of libraries for Kern County Libraries in California. "They don't just come for the meals and leave. They come for meals and stay."

Free lunch at the library benefits education:

*         [There are a] limited number of summer camps and activities for low-income kids, according to a new report<http://frac.org/wp-content/uploads/2017-summer-nutrition-report-1.pdf> called "Hunger Doesn't Take a Vacation" by the Food Research & Action Center.

*         "For kids to be well-read, they need to be well-fed." If they are worried about getting their next meal, she said, "It makes it harder to learn. Giving kids books and nutrition is a win-win, all the way around."

*         "We are not only providing meals. We are providing learning opportunities and keeping kids reading all summer long."

Most importantly, free lunch at the library benefits children, teens, and their families:

*         Ms. Dowdell said, "I didn't have food at home, so we had to come,"

*         In July 2016, summer meals served only one child for every seven low-income children who participate in free and reduced-cost lunch during the school year, the group said.

*         "Libraries are a good fit," she said. "They are a non-stigmatizing community-accepted resource." Put another way, going to a library is inconspicuous in a way that showing up at a food bank isn't.
Katie Anderson
Youth Services Consultant
katie.anderson at state.or.us<mailto:katie.anderson at state.or.us> | 503-378-2528 | www.oregon.gov/osl/ld<http://www.oregon.gov/osl/ld>
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