Library staff and volunteers provide food, reading and exhibit Friday

Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library
1515 SW 10th Ave | Topeka, KS 66604
785-580-4515 |

Diana Friend, communications and marketing director

Leah Sewell, communications editor

June 1, 2015


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Library staff and volunteers to serve food and host Body Venture exhibit Friday

The library has stepped in to staff and provide summer lunches at Lowman Hill Elementary and on the AdventureMobile.

(Topeka, Kan.) — Because several schools will not remain open during the summer as usual sites for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Summer Meal program, it became apparent to library management and staff that someone would need to step in to help fill that void. They ultimately decided to help.

“We were visiting with people in other parts of the town and in other organizations, and we had seen kids in the library during the summer who were spending their entire day without food,” said Rob Banks, the library’s chief operations officer. “Statistics for our community pointed to a worsening problem and we didn’t have a choice but to help.”

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The library’s community impact goal is to ensure that every child in Topeka and Shawnee County is ready for kindergarten.

“Our efforts this summer are aligned with our impact goal,” said Banks. “A hungry child can’t learn and retain like a child who is fed.”

Here are the details of those summer programs:

  • The library is partnering with Lowman Hill Elementary (1101 S.W. Garfield Ave.) and USD 501 to provide free lunches to children one to 18 years of age through the USDA federal program, Harvesters and Kansas Department of Education. Lowman Hill has agreed to open the facility, which will be staffed by library staff and volunteers. June 1 – Aug. 7, meals will be served at Lowman Hill 12 -12:30 p.m. Mon. – Fri. The library will provide a reading-based activity 12:30-1 p.m.
  • Fri. June 5, the library hosts “Body Venture” 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. with free lunch for kids at Lowman Hill 12-1. This is a good opportunity for photo/video footage. For more information, please contact Diana Friend: 785-580-4486 |
  • Our AdventureMobile will be providing a shelf-stable meal through Harvesters. On Fridays, it will also serve BackSnacks, which is food designed to last over the weekend. The AdventureMobile’s primary purpose was to bring books and “critters” to children’s neighborhoods to encourage summer reading. Now it is also a food site.

About the library

In 2015, the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library was recognized as one of the top three libraries in the nation with a LibraryAware Award for its work in the community. The library is committed to supporting the economic vitality of our community, nourishing its spirit, imagination and culture and providing resources to make sure every child is ready for kindergarten.