Harvesters Provides Free Kids Meals

When the school year ends many children’s access to a healthy lunch disappears. The library helps meet this community need by being a lunch site June 4 – Aug 3 for the Harvesters program, which provides healthy meals to children birth to 18 years old Mon – Fri 11:30am – 12:30pm in the Learning Center.

Food is necessary to keep your concentration and productivity levels at top-notch performance. Think of yourself as a car, any car you want. You can be a stylish convertible, a big monster truck, or an environmentally-friendly hybrid. Your body, just like a car, needs fuel to keep running. As a fuel station, the library has partnered up with Harvesters for the past three years to offer healthy meals to children within our community. 

“Kids from all around Topeka are in the library during the summer and often they’re hungry. Now they have a healthy option so they won’t be going home hungry,” said library public services director Marie Pyko.

Pyko notes that everybody takes advantage of the summer meal program – from preschoolers participating in storytime to teenagers grabbing a bite before heading to work. The summer meal program has been a huge help to children in our community, serving an average of 80 kids each day.

While other sites around Topeka offer free summer meals for children, the library is unique because of the Millennium Café on site. The food served here is fresh and hot. If you’re ever in line and we run out of food, don’t worry, we’ll pass out coupons that can be used at the café for a free meal within that lunch hour.

On July 6 celebrate food, summer learning and fun at the Spike event for the Shawnee County Summer Meal program. Enjoy fun games, activities and book giveaways 11am – 1pm. Harvesters, Topeka Public Schools, United Way of Greater Topeka, Kansas Appleseed, and Boys and Girls Club are partnering with the library on this event.

Ginger Park

As the library’s communications editor Ginger helps spread the word about all the amazing library resources, services and staff. Ginger has a bachelor's and master’s in communication from Washburn and K-State. She is a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters and a volunteer at Helping Hands Humane Society. She loves reading fiction and always has a stack of books waiting to be read. Ginger lives in Topeka with her husband and three dogs.