Fresno county libraries to serve free lunch to kids

Fresno County libraries will kick off their free lunch program, “Lunch at the Library,” Monday at 1 p.m. at the Fowler Library, 306 South Seventh St.

Monday’s start also marks the statewide launch of the free lunch program this summer, and also attending the Fowler event will be California State Librarian Greg Lucas, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, Fresno County Supervisor Buddy Mendes and members of the Fowler City Council.

Lunches will be served Monday through Friday throughout the summer, except at the Mendota branch, which is closed Fridays. Hours of operation will vary by location. Lunch will be available to all children between the ages of 1 and 18. Lunches will be similar to what is served in the school year and include items like sandwiches and salads.

“Ninety percent of students in Fresno County receive free or reduced-price lunch during the school year. During summer those students don’t have access to meals and this provides that,” said Rocky Vang, community relations analyst for the Fresno County Public Library.

Vang is expecting between 50 and 100 children to attend Monday’s event, which will also include crafts, book giveaways, story time and free produce from the Community Food Bank. Last year, “Lunch at the Library” served 3,071 meals.

Michael Olinger: (559) 441-6141

Libraries participating in the free lunch program

▪ Central Library, 2420 Mariposa St. in Fresno, southeast of Eaton Plaza, northwest of Tulare Street. Hours of operation: Noon to 1 p.m.

▪ Sunnyside Library, 5566 E. Kings Canyon Road in southeast Fresno, southeast corner of Kings Canyon and Clovis Avenue. Hours of operation: Noon to 1 p.m.

▪ Fowler Library, 306 S. Seventh St., between Fresno and Vine streets. Hours of operation: 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

▪ Mendota Library, 1246 Belmont Ave., near Mendota High School east of Derrick Avenue. Hours of operation: Noon to 1 p.m. Closed Fridays.

▪ Orange Cove Library, 815 Park Blvd., between West Railroad Avenue and Eighth Street. Hours of operation: 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

▪ Sanger Library, 1812 Seventh St. in Sanger, between Hoag and West avenues. Hours of operation: Noon to 1 p.m.