With summer already here, it is time to think about keeping children healthy while school is out. Why not have Lunch @ the Library? We have partnered with the Houston Parks and Recreation Department to provide free meals to children during the summer. There are no income requirements or registration required. Any children under age 18 may come to eat. Each meal complies with USDA standards and includes one serving of meat (or meat alternative), two services of fruit and vegetables, one serving of grains and one serving of milk. Children must consume the meal on site. There is a shared table where children may leave items for other participants to eat to avoid food going to waste.
Here are some staff testimonials from last year's Lunch at the Library program:
“Children were able to get a nutritious meal and parents did not have to worry about feeding them.”
“Most parents were happy because they didn't have to go home and prepare their child's lunch and continue to stay at the library.”
“I loved that we had a chance to offer food to children who didn’t have the option for lunches or snacks during the summer.”
“We serve a diverse community of low income families and this program provided our youths with food that they would not have received at home. It was a wonderful opportunity for our staff to be able to serve our community by meeting an essential and basic need. The smiling faces of the youth and the gratitude of their parents made all our hard work and sacrifices worthwhile.”
“A mother that was new to the Alief area enjoyed coming to the library with her 3 kids to check out books and eat lunch. The first day she and her children joined us we informed her that the lunches were only for youths 1 - 18 years. So, the next day not only did she bring her lunch, but she also brought her 16 year old son. All of her kids (ages 3, 7, & 8) enjoyed our 'Picnic and A Lunch' especially her teenage son.”
“We were able to feed a lot of kids and as a mother that is really important to me.”
"Kids and parents had fun with movies and other activities. We created a Summer Food Program wall with kids' drawings attached to it and displayed artwork during the month of July.”
“We had many parents who said they were pleased and wanted us to keep doing this. We had a foster mom who said this program helped her very much.”
This summer, meals will be served at sixteen locations. Some locations also offer snacks. Check the Lunch at the Library page to find more information about locations and dates.