Roanoke Public Libraries staff noticed that, each summer, children would spend the day at the library without eating lunch or a snack. Children cannot retain or gain knowledge if they are too hungry to learn. So, in the summer of 2014, the Libraries and the YMCA of Roanoke Valley began the Feed and Read program with a pilot at one library location.
At Feed and Read, children receive free USDA-approved meals and literacy instruction while they eat, so their brains and bodies are nourished. During the summer of 2015, over 4,100 meals were served at five locations over six weeks. In 2016, over 6,000 meals were served at eight locations, including libraries and local pools!