Friday, July 27, 2012

Free Lunches with Free Books at D.C. Public Libraries

This summer, the public libraries in Washington, D.C., are more than just places where people can enjoy books in air-conditioned comfort. They also are where kids can get free, nutritious meals.

Eleven branches of the D.C. Public Library are participating in the Free Summer Meals Program (FSMP). From 1 to 2:30 PM Monday through Friday, children age 18 and younger can enjoy a free lunch at these libraries. No ID is required.

"Librarians, just as teachers do, know that people are coming in hungry," said Eva Poole, chief of staff at the D.C. Public Library. "This is an opportunity for us to actually combat childhood hunger and summer reading loss."

The Free Summer Meals Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is sponsored by the D.C. Public Library Foundation, the D.C. Public Library, D.C. Hunger Solutions, and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). The 11 participating branches are:

  • Anacostia Neighborhood Library, 1800 Good Hope Road SE
  • Dorothy I. Height/Benning Neighborhood Library, 3935 Benning Road NE
  • Capitol View Neighborhood Library, 5001 Central Avenue SE
  • Francis A. Gregory Neighborhood Library, 3660 Alabama Avenue SE
  • Juanita E. Thornton/Shepherd Park Neighborhood Library, 7420 Georgia Avenue NW
  • Lamond Riggs Neighborhood Library, 5401 S. Dakota Avenue NE
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G Street NW
  • Petworth Neighborhood Library, 4200 Kansas Avenue NW
  • Southwest Neighborhood Library, 900 Wesley Place SW
  • William O. Lockridge/Bellevue Neighborhood Library, 115 Atlantic Street SW
  • Woodbridge Neighborhood Library, 1801 Hamlin Street NW

The District's Free Summer Meals Program will run through August 10, 2012. In the meantime, young patrons such as 5-year-old Jose Walters are enjoying it. "It's really good," he said while finishing a lunch consisting of a peach, baby carrots, a turkey sandwich on wheat bread, and a carton of non-fat chocolate milk, served at the William O. Lockridge/Bellevue Neighborhood Library. After eating, he scampered off to join his mother in picking out books.

To read more about the free lunch program in D.C.'s libraries, go to this LINK.

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