Borrego & Julian Libraries - Feeding America


Last updated 6/24/2016 at 11:30am

Courtesy of Feeding America, San Diego

Borrego Springs library, headed by Michael Voss and Julian library, headed by Colleen Baker and their respective teams, will be hosting Feeding America San Diego's Summer Meal Program in conjunction with the California Library Association and USDA.

The program is open to all children under the age of 18 and provides healthy meals a chance to meet up with their friends, learn about nutrition and join in with the games and entertainment on hand. While their parents get together to read a book or head to work, they can do it knowing their children are in a fun safe environment.

Both Michael & Colleen have attended off-site training run by Feeding America San Diego and are very thorough making sure high standards are met. The hot water has to be at a certain temperature, thermometers are checked in fridges and food temperatures are monitored on its arrival.

For Michael, it is his first proper year running the event which runs from June 21 to Sept. 2 but he is excited to take on the challenge. For Colleen in Julian, it is her third year however, she is quick to admit that she relies heavily on her team of volunteers, a lot of which have returned year after year to help out.

Borrego Springs library will also welcome children from Ocotillo Wells, who are bused in to join in a whole host of activities not just for the meals. Clowns, mimes, musicians, crafts, as well as half an hour reading time are just a few of the activities on offer. Michael said "The kids really enjoy it, they go to the pool and the Boys & Girl club, the library is a small part."

August 18 will be nutrition week where children can learn about a balanced diet and the importance of the fruit and vegetables they are being offered.

Children will also be encouraged to join in with the 'Read for the Win' competition which involves reading ten books or for ten hours for the chance to be put into a raffle and win a £20 gift card. The competition will run for the entire summer program.

For Colleen and her Julian library team, they encourage children from Julian, Santa Ysabel Indian Reservation and Shelter Valley to come along for breakfast and lunch. Funding isn't available for the families in these areas to be bused in and a lot of children rely on parents to get to the library. It can be a catch 22 situation for some families when bills are already piling up. Free food may be available but fuel costs will need to be found in order to get them there. Colleen encourages all participants to keep an eye out for children in their neighborhoods, who maybe missing out, to see if carpooling is an option.

A lot of high school children volunteer to help for their 'community service' in order to graduate, but a good selection of adults have been recruited through the library and post office which gives parents a good mix of trusty hands.

As well as free meals for children, families can pick up a free bag of groceries on Wednesdays on a first come first serve basis, in order to ensure eating right, continues at home.

The main goal for both libraries is to provide an environment where the past stigma is no longer relevant. It's more of a community event, where one family helps another.

To see schedules and hours, please look on our events page.

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