ROANOKE, Va. – Kids in Roanoke City can get a free meal and learn something new thanks to the Feed & Read program.
The program is put on by the Roanoke Public Library system and Feeding America Southwest Virginia.
Children under 18-years-old can get a free, hot or cold meal at any of the six city library branches. Last year, they served about 20,000 meals.
Program directors say it makes a huge impact on the community, especially in the city, which is considered a "food desert" because it's difficult for families to find affordable, healthy meals.
"Medicine and food, utilities and transportation, all those costs add up for individuals that are not making very high salaries," said Pamela Irvine, the CEO of Feeding America Southwest Virginia. "So, there's not a lot of money left for their food budgets."
The Feed & Read program runs from 3 - 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It's completely free for kids to attend.