Contra Costa County Library Serving Free Lunches To Kids This Summer

June 19, 2018 10:00 am · 65 comments

The Contra Costa County Library is serving free lunches to kids at nine library locations in the county this summer in an effort to prevent a summer nutrition gap. Many low-income children face nutrient deficiencies when school closes for the summer break.

“Poor nutrition can make it harder for children to learn and succeed,” said County Librarian Melinda Cervantes. “We want to help families get nutritious meals even when school is out of session.”

Lunch at the Library is part of a statewide collaboration between the California Library Association (CLA) and the California Summer Meal Coalition to unite libraries and summer meal providers and keep kids healthy and engaged when school is out.

In addition to lunch, the libraries will offer a variety of free programs including board games, arts and crafts, musical performances, Legos, movies, and more. Lunches are free for kids and teens 18 and under. For more information about the Lunch at the Library program visit,

Lunch at the Library locations and schedule:

501 W. 18th Street
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays: 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
June 11 – July 18
For more information, call (925) 757-9224

2900 Salvio Street
Tuesday and Thursdays: 1 – 2 p.m.
June 19 – July 12
For more information, call (925) 646-5455

991 Loring Avenue
Wednesdays and Fridays: 12 – 1 p.m.
June 13 – August 10
For more information, call (510) 787-2345

El Cerrito
6510 Stockton Avenue
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays: 12 – 1 p.m.
June 12 – August 9
For more information, call (510) 526-7512

740 Court Street
Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays: 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
June 18 – August 10
For more information, call (925) 646-9900

2935 Pinole Valley Road
Mondays and Fridays: 12:30 – 1:30
June 11 – August 10
For more information, call (510) 758-2741

80 Power Avenue
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays: 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
June 12 – August 3
For more information, call (925) 427-8390

220 Pacific Avenue
Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays: 1 – 2 p.m.
June 11 – August 16
For more information, call (510) 799-2606

San Pablo Library
13751 San Pablo Avenue
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays: 12 – 2 p.m.
June 11 – August 16
For more information, call (510) 374-3998

Support for Summer Lunch at the Library, a collaboration between the California Library Association and the California Summer Meal Coalition, is provided by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

concord ygnacio June 19, 2018 at 10:14 AM

If these families can’t afford to feed their kids lunch, why are they having kids in the first place? Why does the tax payer have to make up that gap? Shouldn’t these kids be adopted out instead so a private family could pay? It would make more economical sense.

Cellophane June 19, 2018 at 11:10 AM

I agree nothing is free.

Parents need to be responsible for their children.

What The ?? June 19, 2018 at 1:43 PM

Totally agree, just because you get sick and can’t work or have some other set back that means you need some help means that you should have your kids taken away. Feeding hungry kids, what is happening in this world.

Have to ask, do you know exactly when your soul left your body or were you just born without one?

Cellophane June 19, 2018 at 3:47 PM

Born without a soul? I have no idea.

I was born without a bleeding heart.

When people have tough times, help should be there for them.

An open free lunch program for everyone who can walk into a library is not my idea of a good way to spend tax dollars.

Cellophane June 19, 2018 at 4:52 PM

A moron? LOL.

I posted links (in another comment here) to the websites showing where and how the money comes from the state and local governments to fund the library lunch programs.

Please take a look and see for yourself.

The Reasonable Man June 19, 2018 at 6:29 PM

It is irrelevant whether “other” library lunch programs do or do not get state funds. THIS program, which is subject matter of this post, IS “provided by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.” Again, NO tax dollars are being used, you heartless, godless, morons.

Concernicus June 19, 2018 at 7:07 PM

It’s usually people who can’t fathom having less, themselves, who are content to see children starve because they weren’t lucky enough to be born into a wealthier family. It’s ok, though. These people also usually lead lives as hollow as their skull cavities.

SDNick June 19, 2018 at 10:27 AM

That’s a wonderful initiative – is there a way to help support this further? i.e. Any way to donate directly to this program?

J. June 19, 2018 at 10:49 AM

Bravo. Bravo.

KinseyLeaky June 19, 2018 at 11:03 AM

I do not support this at all!
Parents can feed their own kids, what’s next free lunches at school for everyone?
This is ridiculous my tax dollars go to yet another free ride program.

Kari Q June 19, 2018 at 12:52 PM

“This is ridiculous my tax dollars go to yet another free ride program.”

Read the article. Funding “is provided by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.” A private foundation. Using their own money. Your precious tax dollars are not involved.

concord ygnacio June 19, 2018 at 1:11 PM

In my home town, all kids, regardless of income, receive free lunch and breakfast at school! SMH.

“Dunkirk City School District is participating in the Community Eligibility Provision for the 2017-18 School Year. As a result: ALL students will receive both a Breakfast and Lunch each day at NO cost.”

Just a Thought. . . June 19, 2018 at 11:15 AM

Yet another why libraries deserve our continued support, encouragement, and love.

Doug C June 19, 2018 at 11:36 AM

Good job! Doesn’t look like your precious tax dollars are being spent:

“Support for Summer Lunch at the Library, a collaboration between the California Library Association and the California Summer Meal Coalition, is provided by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.”

Thanks Packard foundation. Ignore the haters. Maybe if they gave free lunch at the library when some of you were growing up, you’d have better reading comprehension?

Baloo June 19, 2018 at 11:51 AM


Diane June 19, 2018 at 12:02 PM

I would like to know why you are being so hateful? California is very expensive. I think this is a wonderful idea. I work for a school district making decent money as does my husband. We have 2 kids and some months it is very hard to make ends meet. We are not “poor” but we are not wealthy either. I would totally take my kids to this. It teaches them that life can be hard and to appreciate what we have. To all the people who are hating on this I would like to know if you have children? Because if you don’t then maybe you should keep your opinions to yourself. Bravo to all the libraries that are doing this. I support you 💯 percent !

Cellophane June 19, 2018 at 12:26 PM

Doug C

You might want to look into that a little further.

The state budgets the funds for library lunches.

concord ygnacio June 19, 2018 at 12:59 PM

Diane: if you have trouble feeding your kids, then why did you have them? Breeding is not a right.

ex-coastie June 19, 2018 at 11:49 AM

OK so for those of you who actually can read

“Support for Summer Lunch at the Library, a collaboration between the California Library Association and the California Summer Meal Coalition, is provided by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.”

Private funding.

Anyway it isn’t the kid’s fault if their parents are boneheads. If you want to punish the parents, fine, but leaving a kid hungry just because you hate the government doesn’t work.

concord ygnacio June 19, 2018 at 1:06 PM

Libraries are publicly funded, and the foundation above receives government aid.

I don’t have a probelm feeding the kids, but they need to be adopted and provided for by familes, not the tax payer. What good does it do to leave the kids with unworthy parents??

JA June 19, 2018 at 12:01 PM

You winers might really want to donate to this. Educated children will be able to make intelligent choices later in life. The lower income kids already have less of a chance to come out on top. Help tie them in with successful people. Better to hang out at a library than with their buddies that will show them how to steal things or do drugs. We pay now or pay later. We don’t want more jails.

concord ygnacio June 19, 2018 at 1:03 PM

The proper way to care for at-risk kids is to adopt them out to families who want them and can pay for them.

Anon June 19, 2018 at 12:13 PM

If you can’t feed your baby
Then don’t have a baby
And don’t think maybe
If you can’t feed your baby

Michael Jackson, 1982

Cellophane June 19, 2018 at 12:35 PM

The article state;

Lunch at the Library is part of a statewide collaboration between the California Library Association (CLA) and the California Summer Meal Coalition to unite libraries and summer meal providers and keep kids healthy and engaged when school is out.

It says nothing about being funded by private supporters.

A quick look at the CLA and SMC websites shows where the funding comes from.

KinseyLeaky June 19, 2018 at 12:39 PM

Private funding or not all it does is promote people to rely on handouts and have no desire to get a better paying job to feed their own kids.

Quit feeling sorry for kids people!

I see WC isn’t listed for this so I’m happy about that.

FYI June 19, 2018 at 1:38 PM

“I see WC isn’t listed for this so I’m happy about that.”

It is comments like yours that gives WC the snooty reputation it has.

KinseyLeaky June 19, 2018 at 3:44 PM

And exactly why I live in WC!

Missy June 19, 2018 at 5:48 PM

KinseyLeaky, your handout argument has been repeated so often by conservatives that you are actually believing it. The reality is that “handouts” as you call them do not cause people to become more and more dependent. Sometimes people get down on their luck, or their spouce dies, or they have an unforseen medical expense, etc. They want help. Sure hope that nothing happens to you while you lifve in the golden fairy land of Walnut Creek.

concord ygnacio June 19, 2018 at 1:02 PM

When you committ a crime, and there are no other family members to care for your kids, they are taken away from you and sent to CPS and foster care. These immigrant chldren will be sent to foster care all over the country, at tax payer expense. Maybe these immigrants shouldn’t have tried to enter the US illegally? What did they expect?

Kirkwood June 19, 2018 at 1:51 PM

They expect the U.S. to eventually capitulate as it has always done in the past. Both sides are playing an emotional game with each other.

Randy June 19, 2018 at 2:36 PM

No they put them in cages.

anon June 20, 2018 at 3:34 PM

Then do not commit a crime…..
too bad – so sad if they take your kids – it was your choice

Bishop Estates June 19, 2018 at 1:29 PM

The hate a few of you are spewing is awful. Kids eat lunch and hopefully pick out a book for summer reading.
Stop the “my tax dollar” crap, think about others and be kind.

Ricardoh June 19, 2018 at 3:04 PM

I do care if my tax dollar is paying for this but more importantly is to stop the hand outs it is screwing up a new generation of beggars. Stop depending on the government. Look at it this way. There are people out there right now that can afford to feed their children but because the guy down the street is having a money problem and his kids get a free lunch he thinks that guys kids are getting a free lunch my kids should get a free lunch also and on and on it goes to where some schools have 90% of the kids in the school get a free lunch. What really gets me is that these kids are not even trying to do good in school. Their test scores suck.

Kentucky Derby June 19, 2018 at 1:29 PM

As of 2016, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation was the 20th wealthiest foundation in the United States. As of December 2015, the foundation investment portfolio totaled 6.7 billion.

I have mixed emotions about handouts. People should work hard for what they want. On the flip side, it’s not the kids fault their parents are struggling financially. And no child should go hungry. Also – kids live what they learn. It’s not uncommon for billionaires to have grown up dirt poor.. From rags to riches. Handouts can easily have the opposite affect on children. I WILL WORK HARD AND I WILL SUCCEED!

Ricardoh June 19, 2018 at 1:38 PM

There were times in my younger life when my parents really struggled. There was always something to eat even when my mother gave me pennies, nickles, and dimes to go to the grocery store. If you can’t afford to feed your children don’t have them. Look at the schools around California the percentage of kids getting free lunches is crazy. The more you give the more people take and it is not a way to teach your children. My parents can’t afford a loaf of bread and some peanut butter. What a way to live.

Nutcreek Frontier June 19, 2018 at 1:41 PM

@ Concord Ygnacio, thought the same thing. Once again, undocumented aliens would get more protections than legal residents. If I go to jail, I don’t get to take my kid with me. Why should undocumented aliens have greater rights than the rest of us? Same thing with the free legal costs county taxpayers will subsidize for immigration lawyers. The middle-class for sure does not get free legal services. I say this as a Latina who loves legal immigration, but understands the difference between legal and illegal, a hard point for some.

Randy June 19, 2018 at 2:29 PM

Are your kids put in cages?

Fred P. June 20, 2018 at 8:33 AM

Randy – don’t forget what slick willy and obozo did regarding the immigrants.

Don’t forget that slick willy enacted the very law you’re whining about. Why weren’t you whining when it was passed and acted upon by obozo and clinton?

Don’t forget that Feinstein, Boxer, Obama and Clinton were also against ILLEGAL immigration. I didn’t hear you howling about it back then…..

You’re nothing but a hypocrite – as are the others wailing and gnashing their collective teeth about the actions being taken by ILLEGAL aliens.

Take your faux outrage back to the kitty litter box.

If you’re willing to allow laws to be broken, then why have ANY laws? Can you spell anarchy, little hater?

martinezmike June 19, 2018 at 2:14 PM

They should also offer vegan and gluten free lunches. Also I hope they are aware that some children may be lactose intolerant, or have peanut allergies.

well..... June 19, 2018 at 3:13 PM

Think it’s a good idea for kids to be fed, no matter what their parents’ status is. Problem I have is with all the food that’s tossed away!
I’ve worked (and volunteered) in a school cafeteria and the amount of food thrown away is horrible! These lunches are given to children in need, yet they eat a bit and toss out the rest, esp the vegetables and fruits! You could feed a third world country will all the wasted food! VERY SAD!!

Mika June 19, 2018 at 9:18 PM

That’s because they have food at home. Or, they are being fed food they are not used to.

Clayton Squirrel June 20, 2018 at 1:56 AM

One way to help reduce food waste is to have a share basket. Kids put their unopened unwanted food in there for other kids to take. We had this at our elementary school in Clayton. Lots of kids didn’t like milk so my kids would take one out of the share basket so it didn’t go waste. Win win.

When I was in middle school no one ate their carrots so I would collect them for my horse.

Gwen Larsen June 19, 2018 at 3:23 PM

Last summer I stopped by the library with the grandkids and participated in a few of these lunches. Most of the kids were plump-ish. Food was absolutely unhealthy and disgusting. Lots of fat and sugar. Unlimited chocolate milk. Trust me, I’m not a super picky eater. There was lots of extra food which they offered to the adults because they were going to throw it all out anyway. There were two adults serving the food. And about six adults watching the others serve. I hope they were volunteers but something told me they were not. What a colossal waste of resources. If these mamas can’t feed their kids, Please give them more money if needed so they can have the dignity to at least purchase and prepare the food well for their children instead of backing in line at the local library. I observed no children picking out books. If there are under fed children in Pittsburg , feeding a few of them a free lunch Tuesday through Friday at the library During the summer months is a lousy solution.

Jeff June 19, 2018 at 4:59 PM

Ok then what are you doing to help Gwen?

Lena June 20, 2018 at 7:13 AM

I agree with Gwen. Sounds just like the Food Bank which passes out everything nobody else wants including the stuff experts say to avoid because it contributes to obesity.

Original G June 19, 2018 at 3:42 PM

On a positive NON political note program will introduce kids to the library.
Would not be surprised if some have never been in a public library.

Gwen Larsen June 19, 2018 at 4:32 PM

Food in Pittsburg was not really served in the library but in a room adjacent to the library. Didn’t pass a single book to get in the free food line.

Jeff June 19, 2018 at 4:33 PM

I support this. Give kids a healthy lunch and hopefully some inspiration from the library. The irony in the hatred here comes mostly from old people using the rest of our social security. Posting on claycord while taking a break from the hypocrisy of fox News.

Anonx June 19, 2018 at 4:44 PM

When my kids were younger I decided to quit my job and stay home full time. It was a real struggle but they never knew it. Mac n cheese, cup of soup with frozen veggies or goloush(sp). Maybe not the healthiest but it was all I could do and they never went to bed hungry. Kids don’t need huge plates of food or a lot of meat either.I realize food is a little more pricer now,but I still see deals at the grocery store.

KinseyLeaky June 19, 2018 at 4:50 PM

Public libraries are summer day camps for kids who’s parents can’t afford childcare. It’s nothing new, when school’s out the parents have to put em somewhere free and now free lunches, what a deal.

Bob Bichin June 19, 2018 at 5:41 PM

So many of the comments on Claycord are incredibly depressing and make me wonder what kind of sh*t-hole I’m raising my kids in. What happened to “do unto others”?

KAD June 19, 2018 at 5:49 PM

I can not believe all of the people who do not want to feed children. Why should they go hungry? Too many haters out there.

Rob R. June 19, 2018 at 6:46 PM

No-one can’t afford to feed their kids in the U.S.A.

They just choose to spend their money and food stamps in other ways…

Cage Fight June 19, 2018 at 7:04 PM

Agree with it or not, it’s paid for mostly with your tax dollars. A little hunting on the web and you can see that it is the California Department of Education plus federal money.

Support from the Packard Foundation is not the same as paid for by the Packard Foundation.

Local Lady June 19, 2018 at 7:21 PM

I’m in the library a lot during the summer, looking for things to keep my daughter busy when she’s out of school, so we’ve been to several of these and have never seen starving children there. This is a nice help, and it gets parents in the libraries as well, where they can find help learning English and finding a job if they need it. Before anyone gets their panties in a wad, come check out your local library and see all of the resources that are available to the community–unless you’re afraid of books!

Atticus Thraxx June 19, 2018 at 7:50 PM

And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. -Gospel According to Matthew

Mika June 19, 2018 at 9:12 PM

Yay! Free food and free daycare!

localgirl June 19, 2018 at 9:15 PM

I think hungry children should be fed. Many of these families are on WIC, Food stamps,section 8 housing, welfare,etc. If one is truly hungry then yes feed them. Many just play the system making it difficult for the rest of society.

ZZ June 19, 2018 at 9:20 PM

Never have I seen such a frenzy of hand outs and free rides going on in America. Not saying we shouldn’t help the downtrodden, but this has become a freeloader situation.

KinseyLeaky June 19, 2018 at 9:24 PM

Some people find it impossible for some of these comments coming from liberal left Bay area. Well I’ll tell ya there are more non liberals in this area than not.

We aren’t haters, just fed up with the free rides people think they deserve.

Kentucky Derby June 19, 2018 at 11:07 PM

Most Americans are moderates, including me. And a moderate Republican – not a liberal. I don’t know if you’re a hater, but you’re cold hearted. Perhaps you’ll soften your heart one day. We’re talking about children.

Lorelei June 19, 2018 at 10:50 PM

Not only does this help the helpless (“family values”), this may get kids who would otherwise not visit the library, INTO the library, where hopefully, they will discover the joy of reading.

P. S. Message to the “Christians”…. Jesus was a bleeding heart liberal!

Marianne June 20, 2018 at 8:01 AM

Being from the area, I’m glad my kids can have a free lunch near home. And spend time away from home.

Law Dog June 20, 2018 at 8:23 AM

Camen, get over you hate of our truly great president.

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