‘We see a lot of need’: Lawrence County Public Library gearing up for summer feeding program

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Published: May. 12, 2023 at 8:36 PM EDT
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LOUISA, Ky. (WYMT) - When folks think of public libraries, they often think of books, but one library in the Big Sandy region is working to provide for the needs of its community.

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6

The Lawrence County Public Library (LCPL) hosts several programs throughout the year aimed at meeting the needs of folks throughout the county. LCPL Director Carlie Pelfrey said the library’s summer feeding program is no exception.

“If you’re fortunate enough to have never been hungry yourself or have your children be hungry, or anybody in your family be hungry, you don’t realize the need that’s there,” said Pelfrey. “Especially in the summer when school ends and then you have a couple of months before school begins again. Sometimes the school meals are the only meals that children get.”

In 2022 alone, LCPL served more than 13,000 USDA-sponsored hot meals and handed out even more library-funded snack bags. Those with the library expect around 20,000 hot meals to be served in 2023.

Library officials added the need also goes beyond just the snacks.

“We see a lot of need here, not only with the food but with things like our air conditioning and Wi-Fi during the summer,” said LCPL Program Coordinator Deanna Farris. “We have kids that show up at the door at 9 a.m. ready to eat.”

With educational and reading programs also being hosted by the library throughout the summer, Farris added that kids can enjoy the summer months at the library all day.

“You can have breakfast, then do a program, then have lunch and then do another program, so you can virtually be here all day, do something different every day, and still be able to eat,” said Farris.

LCPL’s summer feeding program begins on May 23. USDA-sponsored hot meals will be provided at 9 a.m. and 12 p.m., and kids will also receive a snack bag from the library to take home. There are also several community outreach locations providing meals throughout the week.

For more information, you can visit the LCPL website.