When summer comes needy children often lose access to the free or reduced price meals available during the school year. In Ohio, which has a child hunger rate of 25 percent, this is a huge problem.
According to the Food Research and Action Center only about 60,000 out of 600,000 needy children in Ohio take part in summer feeding. Cincinnati has developed a unique way to deal with this gap in child feeding. Libraries are becoming distribution sites for feeding children during the summer.
Diane Smiley, the Youth Services Coordinator, said yesterday that 14 branch libraries throughout the city will be serving food to children this summer. The meals are free and children can "feed your stomach and your brain at the Library." Another 4 library sites will be serving meals in association with a summer camp reading program. The number of sites is an expansion over previous years of summer feeding.
Innovative ways to distribute food during the summer is needed to fight hunger in every community and state. The Cincinnati Public Library is doing just that. This a good example that could be applied to other parts of the country.
The Cincinnati Public Schools and Windows Art Enrichment are partnering with the libraries. The program will begin on June 9th and run till August 8th. The food will be served on weekdays with the exception of the fourth of July. The serving times will be released shortly.
For more information visit the Cincinnati Public Library web site.