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Libraries in LA, Fresno, and San Diego counties join summer lunch program

The LA Central Library.
The LA Central Library.
Todd Johnson/KPCC

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Summer free meal programs for kids have been around for decades. This year, for the first time, about a dozen libraries in L.A., Fresno, and San Diego counties have joined the effort.

L.A. Central Library in downtown L.A., the Pacoima branch of the L.A. Public Library, and Inglewood's library are part of a pilot program that nutrition advocates hope to expand next year.

The idea is to combine the learning that goes on in libraries with nutritious meals kids may not get during the summer. 

"To really help make sure that kids are healthy and fed and have access to activities and books to make sure that they're engaged during the summer," said Patrice Chamberlain, director of the California Summer Meal Coalition.

School districts, city governments, and other groups serve summer meals at more than a thousand locations in L.A., Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties.