Two Youngstown libraries offering free meals for children

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You don't even have to be using library services to pick up food

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Libraries are about more than just picking up a book to read for free. Now, you can pick up a free meal for your child.

Children 18 and younger can stop by two Youngtown Library locations for a full mind and a full stomach.

“Starting Dec. 1, we joined the Children’s Hunger Alliance in offering shelf-stable meals at our Michael Kusalaba and Newport Library branches,” said organizer Erin Phenester.

Librarians say they’ve wanted to start some kind of free food program for a while.

“It’s something our librarians have noticed particularly in the summer. We see kids who are here all day and they don’t even take a break to go home and get food and we know there are some families that are struggling to provide that food,” Phenester said.

Picking up the food is easy. You don’t have to show identification or even have your child with you to get the meal.

“If you’re a guardian who is not comfortable bringing your kids into the building yet, because we know people are very concerned about safety, as a guardian you can come in and give your children’s names and pick up the meals to take home,” Phenester said.

Every day they have different pre-packaged meals.

“You get a milk product, you get something with protein, you get fruits and veggies,” Phenester said.

You don’t even have to be using library services to pick up food.

“Even if you’re just driving past the library, stop in and grab one,” Phenester said.

But they hope you find something worth checking out while you’re there.

“Our greeter will help you right when you’re coming in the door. Perhaps when you’re here and you’re stopping by to grab that meal, you’ll grab a movie that you can watch together at home,” Phenester said.

You can stop by the Michael Kusalaba and Newport Library branches from 2-6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 2-5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

You can also request to take home extra meals for days the library will be closed like Sundays and holidays.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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