The USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) makes free healthy meals and snacks available to young people in communities with high rates of poverty. Many public libraries already participate as meal or snack sites, or provide programming to nearby feeding sites. Even if your community is not eligible for SFSP, you have other options for helping to feed hungry bodies as well as hungry minds, and send children and teens back to school ready to learn.

The CSLP Child & Community Well-Being Committee is developing a toolkit for libraries to learn about and explore their potential to become Summer Food Service Program sites or support child and community well-being in other ways.

While the CSLP toolkit is in development, check out the USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s comprehensive Summer Meals Toolkit and these resources on libraries and summer food, provided by state library agencies. While some of the information at the links below is state-specific, much is applicable to libraries anywhere in the United States:

Lunch at the Library (California)

Summer Food Service Program: How Libraries Can Help (Ohio)

To Be Well Read… You Must Be Well Fed: Public Libraries and the USDA Summer Food Service Program (Texas)

Making Summer Meals Work at Your Library (Minnesota)

Connecting Kids and Teens with Nutrition Over the Summer (New York)

Kentucky Summer Food Service Collaboration

The CCWB Committee is also collecting stories showcasing the experiences of public libraries that participate in the SFSP or other initiatives to help kids and teens stay nourished, active, and healthy when school is out. These stories appear monthly in the CSLP newsletter (beginning January 2019) and here:

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