Library Partners with Community Organizations to Bring Summer Meals to Arlington Children

Theo nguồn tin trên mạng thành phố Arlington ở tiểu bang Texas

While most children greet the start of summer vacation without a care in the world, there are many parents who find the two months of time away from school tricky, due to the absence of a free daily lunch many children qualify for during the school year.
This year, parents in Arlington have a new option for replacing that mid-day meal. The Arlington Public Library, in partnership with CitySquare of Dallas, is providing free lunches for children ages 1-18, Monday through Friday, at three of its branch locations. The program began June 6 and runs through August 5.

We’ve always strived to provide for parents and families during the summer in the form of free, educational entertainment in our summer reading program,” library services manager Ivonne Kieffer said. “Adding the lunch component was a way to take our commitment and service to the community to the next level.”

Kieffer said three organizations came together to make the library summer meal program possible: the Arlington Public Library, CitySquare of Dallas, and AmeriCorps VISTA.
“Following a meeting related to summer meals, Max Finberg, the director of AmeriCorps VISTA, connected me to Ivonne Kieffer,” Kay Thomason, director of food programs at CitySquare, said. “Given Ivonne’s interest and enthusiasm, we knew that it was a great match for our program.”
Once the library and CitySquare agreed to a partnership, the library was approved to hire 20 AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associates to work for a 10-week term that would focus on running the meal program. The VISTA members were hired, trained, and began serving lunches on day one, with the total number of meals served each day ranging from 30 to 80 depending on the location.

The program is the result of dedicated partnerships and a desire to make a difference in the community.

“Thousands of children will go hungry this summer because they lose access to free or reduced-price meals at school,” Thomason said. “As a sponsor of the federally funded Summer Food Service Program, CitySquare’s food program is able to deliver free nutritious meals to children at the Arlington libraries with the service of their VISTA team.”
Thomason said CitySquare was ready to spread its wings in Arlington for more personal reasons as well, noting that many of their employees, including a member of the food program, live or grew up in the city.
“CitySquare values community, [and] we are thrilled to be able to serve in the Arlington community.”
Lunches are being served at the East Arlington, Northeast, and Southeast library branches. There is no registration or paperwork required, and the only provision is that children must eat the meal on-site. Meals are available Monday through Friday, 12-1 p.m., through August 5 at the following locations:
East Arlington Branch

1624 New York Ave., Arlington, TX 76010

Northeast Branch

1905 Brown Blvd., Arlington, TX 76006

Southeast Branch

900 S.E. Green Oaks Blvd, Arlington, TX 76018

For a full calendar of lunch dates and locations, visit the library’s calendar.

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