Lunch at the Library Summer 2024

Portal ID:
Opportunity Type:
  • Grant
Last Updated:



Funds and support are available for all California public libraries that help to provide USDA summer meals for children.  The Lunch at the Library program helps California public libraries:

Establish library locations as USDA summer meal sites or take pop-up libraries to other USDA community meal sites and provide learning and enrichment opportunities and wraparound community services in conjunction with  meals served


Libraries interested in participating in Lunch at the Library must apply for the Lunch at the Library Core Program.  Libraries that apply for the Lunch at the Library Core Program may also apply for the Innovation grant.

Core Program

Applications for the Core Program are non-competitive. All libraries participating in Lunch at the Library and submitting approved applications will receive Core Program funds. These funds can support the following Lunch at the Library activities:

Library Meal Sites: Establish and serve USDA summer meals at library site(s) and provide learning and enrichment programming at those meal sites. Lunch at the Library meal sites should include programming. Programs can include — but are not limited to — farm to summer, literacy, health and wellness, nutrition education, arts and culture-based activities, and books provided to help families build home libraries.

Pop-Up Libraries at Community Meal Sites: Take pop-up libraries — including programming, resources, and books  — to other community-based USDA summer meal sites, such as local parks and schools.

Youth Development:  Providing Youth Development activities for teens is an optional but beneficial component of Core Program services.  Some libraries use Core Program grant funds to create scholarship opportunities for teens while others hire teens to the library staff as summer employees. Others have partnered with an outside agency that provides youth workers to support Lunch at the Library activities. 

Farm to Summer

Beginning Summer 2024, participation in Lunch at the Library includes the expectation of providing Farm to Summer activities.  This means all participating libraries support efforts to connect children, teens, and families with locally sourced, sustainable food, and provide hands-on food education and enrichment activities.


The Innovation opportunity supports libraries in implementing innovative and often larger-scale efforts to connect more children, teens, and families with nutritious meals during the summer. Funded projects go above and beyond Lunch at the Library Core Program activities.

Think big and be as creative as possible when considering plans to connect your communities to nutritious meals during the summer.

Supported activities include but are not limited to:

Becoming a summer meal convener in the community and developing and implementing strategies for connecting more families with nutritious meals during the summer through community collaboration and shared resources and services;

Partnerships with Food Banks and other organizations to connect adult family members not eligible for the USDA program with nutritious meals;

Community outreach, promotion, and awareness-raising;

Partnerships with transportation services and other groups that help families get to meal sites;

Innovative solutions for providing access to nutrition that supplements the USDA meal program.

Applications are competitive. As many applications as possible will be supported with available funds.


Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Applicants:

  • Nonprofit
  • Public Agency

Funding is available to all California public libraries. Public libraries applying for funds may do so through a Friends of the Library group or Library Foundation if that organization is a registered 501c3.  Nonprofits not directly related to a California public library are not eligible to apply for funding.

Eligible Geographies:

All public libraries in California are eligible to apply.

Important Dates

The date (and time, where applicable) by which all applications must be submitted to the grantmaker. Time listed as “00:00” equates to midnight.
The date on which the grantor expects to announce the recipient(s) of the grant.
Early January
The length of time during which the grant money must be utilized.
2/1/2024 -1/31/2025

Funding Details

The total projected dollar amount of the grant.
A single grant opportunity may represent one or many awards. Some grantors may know in advance the exact number of awards to be given. Others may indicate a range. Some may wish to and wait until the application period closes before determining how many awards to offer; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
Grant opportunities representing multiple awards may offer awards in the same amount or in varied amounts. Some may wish to wait until the application period closes before determining per-award amounts; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) provide a letter of intent.
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) be able to fully or partially match the grant award amount with another funding source.
The funding source allocated to fund the grant. It may be either State or Federal (or a combination of both), and be tied to a specific piece of legislation, a proposition, or a bond number.
  • State

Funding Source Notes:

This project was supported in whole or in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library.

The manner in which the grant funding will be delivered to the awardee. Funding methods include reimbursements (where the recipient spends out-of-pocket and is reimbursed by the grantor) and advances (where the recipient spends received grant funds directly).
  • Advances & Reimbursement(s)

How to Apply

State agencies/departments recommend you read the full grant guidelines before applying.


For questions about this grant, contact:
Lisa Lindsay, 1-916-603-6708,