圖書館於暑期提供免費午餐

暑假開始以來,陸續看到許多美國的公共圖書館針對社區內(青)少年提供免費午餐的新聞。


Summer Lunch at the Library
圖片來源:CLA

會有這樣的服務是因為原本學校所提供的午餐到了暑假就中斷了,對低收入家庭來說會是另一項支出。因此有一些社服機構提供經費並與圖書館合作,藉由圖書館這個場所來提供午餐。圖書館除了免費午餐,也希望能讓(青)少年們有一個可以閱讀、學習、社交的環境。

這項服務已經持續好幾年,可以看出公共圖書館在美國社區生活中所扮演角色的重要性。

The overall goal is to create a blueprint so libraries in low-income areas throughout California can sponsor summer meal programs in the future, says Natalie Cole, associative executive director of the CLA. She adds, “Ultimately what we hope is that all kids in need can be served.”

When schools close for the summer, so do the subsidized lunch programs that 50 percent of children in California depend upon. Yet according to California Food Policy Advocates’ (CFPA) analysis of data from the California Department of Education, only 16% of eligible kids participated in USDA summer meal programs in 2011—leaving over 2 million children in California in a vast summer nutrition gap.

And the data show that this gap is widening: over the past ten years, summer meal participation has decreased in California by more than 50 percent. CFPA links this trend to the decrease in summer school programs throughout the state. With the loss of summer school programming, low-income kids are not only missing out on what may be their most nutritional meal of the day, says Patrice Chamberlain, director of CSMS, “They’re also missing out on summer learning and enrichment activities.” (via Oakland Local)

延伸閱讀:
Oakland Local - Pilot project serves free summer lunch to kids in libraries
California Library Association - Summer Lunch at the Library
The Valley Breeze - Lunch now served to hungry children at city pool, Pawtucket Public Library

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