District 11 is making sure no student goes hungry over the summer.
On Wednesday, they kicked off their Summer Food Program at the Old Colorado City Library and 33 other locations.
"I think it was the perfect day to have lunch outside," Emily, a 9-year-old student said.
For 9-year-old Emily, this was the perfect combination.
"I thought it was really cool that here outside the library, we get free lunch and a free book!" she said.
A library full of books, classes and other activities now also includes a free lunch.
"These are our kids, this community is our community and we want the kids to not have empty bellies all summer long and so this is a great way to get them a nutritional meal," Janina Goodwin, the Old Colorado City Library Branch Manager said.
Today on the #Education beat: As schools close for the summer, @CSSD11 is providing a free lunch option for all hungry kids Monday through Friday. And in one case, they’ll get a free book too! Let’s have “Lunch at the Library” tonight at 6:30 on @KOAA pic.twitter.com/lp2AceZfON
— Lena Howland (@LenaHowland) May 30, 2018
"Lunch at the Library" in Old Colorado City is one of 34 sites District 11 will be offering free lunches at every weekday throughout the summer.
"When school is not in session and there’s not a summer program within that school, children don’t have an opportunity to receive meals," Janine Russell, Assistant Food Service Director for Colorado Springs District 11 said.
This program is free for kids from 1 to 18 from any school district, all provided by the United States Department of Agriculture at no cost to the district.
"Old Colorado City Library falls within the boundaries of West Elementary and West is about 80 percent free or reduced statistics so there is a need here," Russell said.
"Every kid that walks in is hungry and so I just figured, if they were hungry after getting lunch at school, then they might be hungry during the day when they’re not at school," Goodwin said.
Modeled after District 60’s partnerships with its local libraries in Pueblo.
"It’s that assurance that they know that they can get something good and healthy during the day and it’s our assurance that we know that they’re getting that," she said.
And the kids say, it might even be better than lunch at school.
"I actually prefer the lunch here, I really liked the pineapple!" Emily said.
Every child that has lunch at this library will also get a free book for coming.
By the way, District 60’s Summer Lunch Program in Pueblo kicks off at Cesar Chavez Academy on June 4th and all other locations, including their local libraries on June 11th.
Most of these programs for both districts go through July.