Fewer than 17 percent of Minnesota kids who benefit from the free or reduced-price school lunch program have access to summer and afterschool food programs. Limited access to free food programs, particularly during the summer, leaves many children hungry. Public libraries can help make sure kids have access to nutritious food when school is not in session.
Begin planning your summer 2015 participation today, there are many ways your library can get involved:
1. Learn about local free meal resources and direct patrons to them.
Find information about Minnesota meal sites on MDE’s At-Risk Afterschool Meals web page and Summer Food Service Program web page.
2. Provide information at your library for patrons to take home.
Make available take-home information for families in need. Contact Second Harvest Heartland for pads of tear-off sheets to passively promote summer food service.
3. Your library may be eligible to be an at-risk afterschool and/or summer food site or sponsor.
Sites store and distribute food, supervise meal service, provide activities, and keep a daily record of participation. To notify MDE of your desire to participate as a site, fill out an interest survey. Sponsors manage multiple sites, coordinate fund distribution and reporting. Read the Second Harvest Heartland toolkit for more information about how to be a sponsor.
Contact State Library Services, Jen Nelson at or Jen Verbrugge for more information about how your library can work with summer and out-of-school time food programs.