In 2019, for the fifth year in a row, Sonoma County Library served free lunches to children ages 0-18 during the summer months, in an effort to help combat food insecurity on Sonoma County. Our library sites are eligible to participate if the closest public school to a library has more than 50% of its students eligible for free and reduced lunch during the school year.
For summer 2019, we had 8 participating library sites - Central Santa Rosa, Cloverdale, Healdsburg, Northwest Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park-Cotati, Sebastopol, and Sonoma Valley.
From surveys returned by participating children and families, we learned that through this program we:
- Served 6832 meals to children and teens across the county (an increase of 36% over 2018)
- Served meals on 324 days across 8 locations (increase from 259 days/6 locations in 2018)
- Supported the physical, emotional, and developmental health of low income children in the community
- Engaged children and youth in summer reading programs and other library programming
- Provided community service opportunities to teens
- Provided a safe and trusted community space for children and families to go while school is out of session
- Provided families with access to technology and other community resources and services.
We'll be back again next summer, and we'd love to have you volunteer to help serve lunches to the children of our community!