Picture six children in your life. Six children full of laughter, curiosity and dreams. Now imagine that one of them is experiencing childhood hunger and does not know where or when they will get their next meal.
In the United States, this is the reality for over 13 million children. Unfortunately, 1 child in every 6 in America faces food insecurity and does not have access to enough food to lead a healthy life. This problem is exacerbated during the summer months when students do not have access to the free and reduced cost meals they normally get at school. Additionally, the coronavirus pandemic has led to even higher levels of food insecurity across the country.
The USDA's Summer Food Service Program helps meet this increased need by bringing together schools, camps, churches and community sites to provide healthy, free meals for children and teens during the summer. The goal is to make sure each and every child has a healthy summer by feeding both the body and the mind.
Richland Library is participating in the 2021 Summer Food Service Program by serving free meals this summer at three library locations:
Edgewood | 2102 Oak Street, Columbia, SC 29204
North Main | 5306 North Main Street, Columbia, SC 29203
St. Andrews | 2916 Broad River Road, Columbia, SC 29210
Meals will be served from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. every Monday-Friday, June 14-August 13 (except July 5).
The meals are served grab-and-go style, first come, first served and are open to anyone aged 18 and under. Each day participants will receive lunch as well as breakfast for the next day. Our Sponsor is Francis Burns United Methodist Church, and the program is managed in South Carolina by the SC Department of Education.
There are many SFSP sites available in Richland County. You can use the site locator tool on the USDA website to find the site closest to you. You can also text "FOOD" or "COMIDA" to 877-877 to find a meal site close to you.
Want to learn more about childhood hunger and what you can do to help? Check out these resources: