LA County Offering Free Lunches to Kids at Libraries and Parks This Summer

LA County Offering Free Lunches to Kids at Libraries and Parks This Summer
A cafeteria worker supervises lunches for school children at the Normandie Avenue Elementary School in South Central Los Angeles on Dec. 2, 2010. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

Los Angeles County is providing free lunches to kids at libraries and parks during summer months when they are away from school, officials announced on June 13.

“Lunch at the Library keeps children nourished during the summer months, helping to ensure that families have access to wholesome meals,” the LA County Library stated on the program’s website.

Serving children under 18 years old regardless of family income, the Lunch at the Library program provides meals on a first-come, first-served basis from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. either from Monday to Friday or Tuesday to Friday, depending on locations.

Parents and caregivers can pick up on behalf of their children at one of the 25 participating libraries, including Lawndale Library, Norwalk Library, El Monte Library, and Huntington Park Library.

The program runs from June 13 to August 5, except for June 20 and July 4 in observance of holidays.

“We realize families depend on lunch and snack programs to provide free, nutritious food for their children when they are away from school. We are excited to once again provide this essential service,” said county Library Director Skye Patrick.

The LA County Library has been providing free meals for children in summer since 2015. To ensure those 18 and under have access to nutritious meals, the program continued to offer lunches even during the COVID-19 pandemic by shifting to grab-and-go, no contact pick up.

Lunch at the Library is a collaborative project of the California State Library and the California Library Association, with state funding support. For participating locations, please visit the program’s website.

The county parks and recreation department is also giving out free meals and snacks this summer through its Free Summer Lunch and Snack Program at 46 parks where approximately 100,000 will receive food free of charge.

This program only serves youth participants who dine-in in its enclosed designated areas—also from June 13 through August 5 during weekdays, but not on June 20 and July 4. Lunch is provided from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. and snacks are served from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

A full list of park locations is available on the county park and recreation department’s website.