Since COVID-19 has changed how the current school year is functioning, thousands of students who rely on free lunches are in danger of going hungry. The Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library is partnering with UMC Food Ministry, which has allowed the Library to provide free meals for youth during the summer and after school for several years. So far this year, the Library has distributed more than 36,000 meals through these programs.
Starting Monday, Sept. 14, the Cincinnati Library is a distribution point for boxed meal pick-up Mondays only from 3-5 p.m. Each box includes seven dinner meals and seven snacks. All items are shelf stable and ready to eat, with no refrigeration or additional preparation required. This program is open to all youth, up to age 18, and young adults ages 19-21 who are following Individualized Education Programs. Children do not need to be present at the meal pick-up.
“The pandemic has increased the need in our community for healthy meals. Currently, one in four children in Hamilton County lives in a food insecure household, meaning they don’t always know where their next meal is coming from,” said Lisa Soper, Youth Services & Programming Coordinator. “Hungry kids are not able to focus on learning, which can cause them to fall behind their peers in school. Distributing meals is one of the many ways the Library supports the educational needs of children and teens in our community.”
Meal boxes are available at the following locations:*
- Downtown Main Library
- Bond Hill
- Elmwood Place
- North Central
- Pleasant Ridge
- Walnut Hills
- West End
For additional information about local efforts to combat food insecurity, or to find other food distribution programs, visit the Freestore Foodbank online or call 513-357-4600. United Way 211 is also available to help connect you to essential community services. Dial 211 to speak to a trained professional. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Search their online database of providers at www.uwgc.org/.
*Meal service locations and serving times are subject to change.
Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library has been cultivating curiosity from the moment we first opened our doors in 1853. Since then, we have evolved into one of the biggest and busiest libraries in the country: supporting minds of all kinds who seek to unlock their full potential. With 41 neighborhood branches, a vast range of programming and ever-growing collection of virtual resources, we're proud to be a place where everyone can learn without limits. To learn more, visit CincinnatiLibrary.org or call 513-369-6900.