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Written by Kelly Sheehy, Content Specialist, Main Library

One in five children in the state of Ohio does not know where their next meal will come from. According to the Ohio Association of Food Banks, children experiencing food insecurity are more likely to struggle with illness, cognitive development, and educational achievement. 

Many children rely on healthy school meals provided when classes are in session. Come summer, however, many aren’t sure where to turn. To bridge this gap, the Library teamed up with UMC Food Ministry and Mt. Healthy City Schools to provide meals and snacks for children ages 18 and younger. 

People ages 19 through 21 who have identified as having mental or physical disabilities and are following Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) through their current enrollment in educational programs also are eligible for free summer meals. 

The Summer Meals program is sponsored by the USDA and the Ohio Department of Education. “For years, the Library has offered educational opportunities for children during the summer months, to prevent the summer slide and keep their brains active,” said Lisa Soper, Youth Services & Programming Coordinator. “But children who are hungry are not able to focus on learning and as a result, more likely to fall behind their peers over the summer. Summer meals and snacks help feed kids' hungry bellies so we can feed their hungry minds as well.” 

The Library’s meal service runs Monday-Friday from June 3-Aug 16 (all library locations are closed on July 4). See below for a full list of participating branches: 

  • Main Library (Children’s Learning Center and TeenSpot): Meal at noon, snack at 3 p.m.
  • Avondale Branch: Meal at 12:30 p.m., snack at 3:30 p.m.
  • Bond Hill Branch: Meal at 1 p.m., snack at 4 p.m.
  • College Hill Branch: Meal at 4:15 p.m.
  • Covedale Branch: Meal at 3 p.m.
  • Deer Park Branch: Meal at 12:30 p.m., snack at 4 p.m. (service ends Aug. 12)
  • Elmwood Place Branch: Meal at 1 p.m. (service ends Aug. 14)
  • Groesbeck Branch: Meal at 12:30 p.m.
  • Madisonville Branch: Meal at 12:30 p.m., snack 4:15 p.m.
  • Mt. Healthy Branch: Meal at 1 p.m. (Monday–Thursday, June 3-July 11 only)
  • North Central Branch: Meal at 12:30 p.m. (service ends Aug. 14)
  • Pleasant Ridge Branch: Meal at 3 p.m.
  • Reading Branch: Snack at 1:30 p.m., meal at 4:30 p.m.
  • St. Bernard Branch: Meal at 12:30 p.m., snack at 4:30 p.m. (service ends Aug. 14)
  • Walnut Hills Branch: Meal at 4 p.m.
  • West End Branch: Meal at 1 p.m., snack at 4 p.m.

Be sure to check CinLib.org/SummerFood for additional summer food service options.