Your Library Can Help You Eat Local

Summer is here! It's the perfect season to eat local.

Public libraries are an integral part of community life. They promote literacy, create safe gathering spaces, and further education with classes and other services. Here’s how public libraries can help you eat local food!

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Farmer’s Markets

Libraries frequently help the community eat fresh food by allowing farmers’ markets to use space in their buildings and parking lots. Farmers’ markets offer community members a way to eat fresh food from their community. Many libraries across the country provide space for farmer’s markets.

Cookbooks and Classes

Local libraries can provide convenient cookbooks for people in need of new recipes! As Spring turns into Summer, more and more local produce becomes available through farmers’ markets or produce stands. Libraries offer a variety of cookbooks to help you prepare creative meals. Many Libraries also offer healthy cooking classes.

Food Pantry and Meals

The Little Free Pantry movement began in 2016. Modeled after the Little Free Library, the Little Free Pantry is a minor location, usually a wooden box or bin. Many libraries host these little free pantries and serve meals to the community. For example, 491 libraries in 28 states had plans to do meals for school children during their summer vacations.

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Community Gardens and Seed Libraries

Community gardens are places where people work together to plant, maintain, and harvest fresh produce. Many libraries are home to community gardens, and more are popping up. In addition, seed libraries allow gardeners to borrow seeds around planting time. People use accessible sources with a commitment to give seeds back to the library when the growing season is over. Public and seed libraries are teaming up to help communities grow their food at home and in community gardens.

Library systems offer different services to each community. Check your local library’s website for information about specifically offered programs where you live. Public libraries provide free services to all community members, and your librarians are available to help you participate.