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First time for OCC Library as lunch site in D-11's summer food program

May 27, 2018
       As most people know, public libraries in modern times offer more than books.
       Examples include computer use and training, teen activities, movie borrowing, business tutorials, career help, adult education, household repair, homeschool
Displayed are the daily lunch menus for the first three weeks of School District 11's Summer Food Service Program.
Courtesy of School District 11
support, art displays and even wine or beer-tasting events.
       To those can be added this summer at the Old Colorado City Library, free lunches for children.
       Available from 11 to 11:30 a.m., the location at 2418 W. Pikes Peak Ave. is one of 33 (five of them on the Westside) designated throughout School District 11 in its Summer Food Service Program this year.
       The other Westside sites offer breakfast as well as lunch. These are Jackson and West elementaries, Holmes Middle School and the Westside Community Center.
       Date ranges vary by location (see bulleted list at bottom of article). The library's is May 30 to July 27. The facility is open Mondays to Saturdays, but closed July 4.
       “The library is a destination for kids in the summer because we have a lot of fun activities, including computers and a chance for them to get out of the heat,” OCC Library
Standing outside the main entrance to the Old Colorado City Library is its manager, Janina Goodwin.
Westside Pioneer file photo
Manager Janina Goodwin said in an interview. “There's also a chance that they may not have an easy time finding lunch, so this is another thing we can bring to the community.”
       The meals are prepared by D-11 staff, using food bought by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, then trucked to the different sites in vehicles that keep the food hot or cold, as applicable.
       No IDs are required for kids to eat, Goodwin said. The program's only rules are that the meals must be eaten on site and it's meant for people no older than 18.
       The food at the library will usually be consumed in the downstairs community room. If that room is not available, “we might have a picnic on our front steps,” Goodwin said.
       Although using a library as a summer food site is a first for Colorado Springs, the innovation started about five years ago nationwide, with more and more places signing on since then, including the Pueblo Library District, said Goodwin (who previously worked there).
       The summer program is part of the district's ongoing efforts to help with child nutrition. During the school year, the focus is on Title 1 students - those whose parents' incomes are low enough (even if above poverty level) to qualify them for free or reduced-price breakfasts and lunches.
       Here are the summer schedules at the five Westside locations:
  • Holmes Middle, 2455 Mesa Road, June 11- 29 - breakfast, 8-8:40 a.m.; lunch, noon-12:30 p.m.
  • Jackson Elementary, 4340 Edwinstowe Ave., May 30-July 27 - breakfast, 7:30-8 a.m.; lunch, 11:30 a.m-noon.
  • Old Colorado City Library, 2418 W. Pikes Peak Ave., May 30-July 27 - lunch, 11-11:30 a.m.
  • West Elementary, 25 N. 20th St., June 11-29 - breakfast, 7:30-8:10 a.m.; lunch, 11:30 a.m-noon.
  • Westside Community Center, 1620 W. Bijou St., June 4-Aug. 3 - breakfast, 8:30-9 a.m.; lunch, 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

    Westside Pioneer article
    (Community: Old Colorado City Library)

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