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Morro Bay, Nipomo, SLO county libraries offer kids a free lunch

Greta Mart/KCBX

Three San Luis Obispo County libraries are serving up free lunches and snacks for kids over the next month. Children up to age 18 are welcome to the meals - with no ID, income verification or payment required. 

Margaret Kensinger-Kopfler coordinates system-wide youth programs for San Luis Obispo County Libraries. She said the new “Summer Lunch” program is up and running at three of the county libraries - Morro Bay, Nipomo and San Luis Obispo.

“It came about actually because I went to a conference and they were talking about how libraries were supporting their communities in non-traditional ways,” Kensinger-Kopfler said. “And there was a grant from the federal government to have libraries consider whether they would be summer lunch sites.”

The libraries partnered with the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County.

“The idea behind it is that during the school year, there are kids who receive free and reduced lunch due to being low-income and not being able to be in food-stable homes, during the school year, but during the summer, a lot of times those kids maybe go without food or do not have access to fresh food,” Kensinger-Kopfler said. “And the thought was that we need ways to provide access to good healthy meals during the summer and kids are [already] at the library in the summer.”

At the Morro Bay and Nipomo libraries, there’s a special table that kids go up to and grab a bagged lunch. At the San Luis Obispo library, they offer up a late breakfast. The program is in place every day through July 20 at the Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo libraries and July 27 at the Nipomo Library.