Prince George’s libraries offering free lunch to students

Grab a book and get a meal.

The Prince George’s Memorial Library System is providing free lunch to children who might otherwise go hungry during the summer because they depend on free and reduced-price lunches during the school year.

More than 60 percent of the students who attend Prince George’s County Public Schools — 45,000 children — are eligible for free and reduced-price meals, a federal measure of poverty.

Seven library branches will provide free lunch to children ages 2 to 18 years old. Children do not have to register or show identification to participate. The lunches will be served at the following branches: Bladensburg, Glenarden, Hillcrest Heights, Hyattsville, Oxon Hill, Spauldings, and Fairmount Heights.

The county library system is partnering with No Kid Hungry, Share Our Strength and Partnership to End Childhood Hunger in Maryland for the effort.

Victoria Johnson, central area manager for the library system, said the libraries have seen an increasing number of students participating in the lunch program.

“We play music and tell them about the different programs that we offer,” she said. “It’s been really good and the parents have really appreciated it.

Lunches are served from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, unless the branch is regularly closed on Fridays. The program started on June 16 and will run through Aug. 22. Fairmount Heights, which is under renovation, plans to begin its lunches some time next month, Johnson said.

Ovetta Wiggins covers Maryland state politics in Annapolis.

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