A social media post about free lunches for children at libraries during the summer has been making the rounds, stating specific dates and hours when kids can stop into any neighborhood book lender and receive a meal at no charge. 

This would be a wonderful thing…  if it were true. In the original poster’s location of Chicago, it likely is. But libraries are entities that operate independently, rather than federally regulated institutions, and each implements its own policies and programs.  No national effort provides consistent meals across the United States from one library to the next, so though good intentions have made the post go viral, the information it shares isn’t accurate everywhere it’s reached.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that while the post itself doesn’t apply to Pennsylvania,  there are several libraries providing food to children during the months when school cafeterias are closed. 

Through the Summer Food Service Program, a federally funded effort facilitated by the Pennsylvania Departments of Education and of Agriculture, meals are available for children in a variety of locations- including some, but not all, Carnegie Library outposts. The complete list follows.

Allegheny, 1230 Federal St, 15212: M-F, 12:30-1:30 pm; through 8.23

Beechview, 1910 Broadway Ave, 15216: M-F, 1- 2 pm; through 8.23

Hill District, 2177 Centre Ave, 15219: Tues-F, 1- 1:30 pm, through 8.23

Homewood, 7101 Hamilton Ave, 15208: M-F, 1- 2 pm, through 8.16

Knoxville, 400 Brownsville Rd, 15210: M-F, 11 am- 2 pm, through 8.16

Woods Run, 1201 Woods Run Ave, 15212: M-F, 12- 1 pm, through 8.23

In addition to the libraries listed, multiple other area locations are offering meals or snacks for kids. We’ve included a few below, but the full map is available here!

A Giving Heart, 2429 Charcot St, 15210: M-F, 9-10 am & 12- 1pm, through 8.16

Allegheny Center Alliance Church, 250 E. Ohio St, 15212: M-F, 8:30-9:30 am & 11:45 am- 1:45 pm, through 8.1

Corner Community Center, 200 Robinson St, 15213: M-TH, 12-1 pm & 2-3 pm, through 8.13

Miller Elementary, 2055 Bedford Ave, 15219- M-F, 8:30-9:30 am & 12- 1 pm; through 8.2  

Warren United Methodist Church, 2606 Centre Ave, 15219- MWF, 12-1 pm, through 8.8

West Penn Community Recreation Center, 450 30th Street, 15219-  MTW, 12:30-1:15 pm, through 8.6