CLEVELAND — Cleveland Public Library has 27 branches and all of them are serving free meals this summer.

What You Need To Know

  • Cleveland Public Library is serving free summer meals for kids

  • Meals are served at all 27 branches 

  • The library system is just one of many sites around the state that are participating in the Ohio Summer Food Service Program

The library system is one of many sites throughout the state that is taking part in the Ohio Summer Food Service Program.

“We’ve been doing this since 2007,” said Annisha Jeffries, youth services manager for the Cleveland Public Library main branch.

 Jeffries said kids ages one through 18 are eligible, with no registration needed.

“If a child is hungry, if they want a place they can go to and get a meal, they can always go to their closest branch or come to our library,” Jeffries said.

Jeffries said it’s a necessary service that the library is happy to help with.

“Kids and parents, we want everything [sic], we want them to be stress free,” she said. “And sometimes when you’re hungry, you know, you’re not thinking about anything else. You’re thinking about feeding yourself. You’re thinking about just, you know, the relieving stress about where the next meal will come.”

Fulfilling the needs of the community is why Rice branch manager Lexy Kmiecik said she pursued the profession.

“This is an excellent example of the way the library serves the community,” Kmiecik said.

On the menu, at the Rice branch, is a simple boxed lunch.

“They’re nothing fancy. They’re just like sandwiches,” Jeffries said. “It could be peanut butter and jelly, like those Uncrustables. There’s always, like, a milk, a piece of fruit, and vegetables, a sandwich. And most of the sandwiches that we have are like turkey-based. They’re not like pork or anything and we know that some people can’t eat that.”

For Jeffries, this meal also opens the door for kids to check out some of the fun and educational programming her branch offers.

“It’s not school, but it’s fun. And, you know, that’s what the library’s here for [and] oh, it’s free. Everything is free here,” Jeffries said.

Jeffries said they serve lunch on weekdays, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.