Nevada County Library kicked off Lunch at the Library this week providing free summer meals for kids and teens in partnership with the Food Bank of Nevada County and the Grass Valley School District.

Lunch at the Library 2023

Many families experience food insecurity in our community and with rising costs at the grocery store, access to healthy food is as critical as ever. In 2021, according to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap, 9.8% of children under the age of 18 were considered food insecure in Nevada County. Food insecurity is defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life. Public libraries are poised as the perfect community partner to assist in filling the gap when families and caregivers cannot rely on school lunches during the summer.

The California State Library’s Lunch at the Library project offers cost support and toolkits to encourage library participation across the state, with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Last summer, Nevada County Library served a total of 4,156 free lunches in West County, closing the gap of access to healthy food in this community. “Providing lunches is an amazing service because kids can’t learn on an empty stomach!” stated a caregiver at last year’s Lunch at the Library.

This year’s program is underway at the Penn Valley and Bear River library locations, and begins Monday, June 19th at Grass Valley and the Madelyn Helling Libraries. Lunches are served from 12 to 1 pm, Monday through Friday for kids and teens under the age of 18. No library card or sign up is required. Visit or call (530) 265-7075 for details. For additional summer meal distribution sites in West County, visit the Food Bank of Nevada County’s website at

Looking for access to summer meals in the Town of Truckee? Call the Truckee Library at (530) 582-7846 for information about where to find Lunch at the Library pop ups in partnership with the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District or follow Nevada County Library on social media.

Lunch at the Library is part of Nevada County Library’s Find Your Voice! Summer Learning program with activities and events at all library locations through August 11th. Full program details at or call (530) 265-7050.