Saturday, June 3, 2017

Summer ‘Lunch at the Library’

For the third year in a row, Sonoma County Library (SCL) will host free meals for youth this summer, every weekday at six library locations.

Beginning June 5:
Northwest -- Noon to 12:30 p.m.
Petaluma -- Noon to 12:30 p.m.
Sebastopol -- Noon to 12:30 p.m.
Sonoma Valley -- Noon to 12:30 p.m.

Beginning June 12:
Central Santa Rosa -- 11:30 a.m. to noon
Healdsburg -- 12:30 to 1 p.m.

Summer meals are being provided by the Redwood Empire Foodbank.

The library emphasizes that no registration is required to enjoy a free meal. Lunches will be served free, through Aug. 4, on a first-come, first-served basis.

These meals are available to anyone, ages 0 to 18, regardless of income.

In a press release, the library cites studies showing that malnourishment can diminish a child’s learning potential. “Of the Sonoma County children who are eligible for free lunches during the school year, just 1 in 10 has access to a similar program during the summer. Additionally, children who do not read over the summer lose an average of one month of academic progress. By middle school, those who have not read during summer breaks may have lost as much as two years’ worth of achievement.”

“Lunch at the Library” brings together a lunchtime meal with SCL’s Summer Reading program.

The summer-lunch program is sponsored by the Redwood Empire Foodbank, with the California Library Association and California Summer Meal Coalition.

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