Lunch at the Library

Lunch at the Library helps California’s children and teens stay nourished and engaged while school is out. Project partners include the California Department of Education and the Pacific Library Partnership. For more information, including participation data and extensive resources for libraries, please visit: lunchatthelibrary.org 

In summer 2019:

  • public library summer meal sites served over 289,000 meals
  • 115 community meal sites offered pop-up library programming
  • 13% of families didn’t get lunch anywhere else but the library
About the Lunch at the Library Project
Lunch at the Library provides training, technical assistance, and grants that enable California public libraries to:

During the summer, children and teens in low-income families often struggle to have their basic needs met. For many, the summer months mean reduced or limited access to healthy food, learning opportunities, and safe places to congregate and be active. Only 17% of California school children who receive free or reduced price lunches during the school year also receive free lunches during the summer. In 2018, nearly two million school children who were eligible for summer lunches did not get them.[1]

California’s public libraries are resource-rich, accessible, and trusted community hubs, and they are natural spaces for serving free summer meals to children and teens.

The Lunch at the Library program provides children and teens with meals, summer reading programs, and other activities that support learning, health, and wellness. It also brings new families to the library where staff can connect adult family members with essential resources and services

[1] https://frac.org/wp-content/uploads/frac-summer-nutrition-report-2019.pdf

Contact Us

Grant opportunities for summer 2020 will be available soon. For project information, please contact natalie.cole@library.ca.gov.

Lunch at the Library 2019-2020 is funded with $1M from the State of California. Lunch at the Library is a project of the California State Library, supported with funds from the State of California. Lunch at the Library was developed by the California Library Association and the California Summer Meal Coalition, with support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.