Libraries are Bridging the Summer Gap for Hungry Kids

Civil Eats – Lunch at the Library programs support kids from food-insecure households and underscore the evolving roles of libraries. “School districts across the U.S. are beginning to close their doors for summer vacation, giving students a respite from classes and exams. But for millions of young people from food-insecure households, there’s less to celebrate—because summer break puts an end to the free and reduced-price lunches they’re eligible for during the school year. Since 2011, in California, young people have found sustenance and assistance in an unlikely place: the public library. That’s the year the Oakland Public Library in Northern California started serving free lunches of sandwiches, fruit, and milk to local children at three of its branches. “We were seeing hungry kids coming in and staying the whole day,” says Derrick DeMay, Oakland’s supervising branch librarian. “Hungry kids act in ways that are…

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