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Lunch at the Library keeps children and teens nourished and engaged during the summer months, helping to ensure that all California kids return to school in the fall ready to learn.

For many children and teens, the stability, nutrition, and education provided by the lunches they receive in the school cafeteria, and the learning opportunities they receive in the classroom, end when school lets out for summer vacation.

Summer meal programs in public libraries help combat hunger, obesity, and learning loss during the summer months by providing children and teens with:

  • regularly-scheduled, free and healthy meals through the USDA Summer Food Service Program
  • learning and enrichment programs
  • introductions to essential services and resources
  • youth development and volunteer opportunities
  • encouragement to be lifelong learners, not solely classroom learners

all within the library — a trusted space at the heart of the community.

Through the Lunch at the Library program, the California Library Association and California Summer Meal Coalition provide libraries with the resources and support they need to establish themselves as successful summer meal program sites for their communities.