That’s a Wrap! Results from the Library’s Community Lunch Project

One year, five branches, 50 volunteers and 38 thousand lunches

The Halifax Public Libraries Community Lunch Project was launched in five public library branches in 2020 and wrapped up in August 2021. One year later, we have the total number served and the reviews are in.

Packed full of goodness

From August to August, staff and volunteers worked together to deliver over 38,000 healthy lunches to their communities. Participating branches were situated in various parts of the municipality: Alderney Gate Public Library in downtown Dartmouth, Halifax North Memorial Library in North End Halifax, Captain William Spry Public Library in Spryfield, Sackville Public Library, and Dartmouth North Public Library.

As word spread, the lunch packs became a part of the larger food support network in our region and folks began to rely on the service. The act of making and serving the packs connected youth, adults, and seniors at a time when many were experiencing a deep sense of social isolation.

Our wonderful volunteers were able to give back to their communities in a meaningful way at a very challenging time for our city.

Universally positive reviews

"Our community members are so grateful for the lunches and more. This program also gave many adults and young people the opportunity to give back to the community, or fill requirements for volunteer hours. It's a wonderful thing, making people happy and bellies full during a very stressful time.”

“I just want to say how grateful I am for this program. I come over for three elderly couples from my building and myself and they look forward to this amazing lunch pack on Wednesday and Thursday. It brightens up their afternoon. I hope this program keeps going in the future and it makes a lot of people grateful.”

Sustaining results

In addition to providing 38,000 lunch packs and involving 50 volunteers of all ages, the Community Lunch Project has lasting value:

  • The Library will continue the food volunteer program, expanding the involvement of community members in other food initiatives.
  • Library staff now have specific equipment for continuing food-related programming.

What’s next?

While the importance of food security has been more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity is an ongoing issue for many community members. We will continue to work together to find new ways of serving healthy food options.

There are still lots of food support options for those who need it, such as weekly coffee corners and/or hot meals available in participating locations, daily healthy snacks in all branches, and the eventual return of in-person hands-on food programming for all ages.

Also, volunteer opportunities are posted and updated as we grow. And we'll always have a seat at the table for you.

Halifax Public Libraries was able to deliver this project with the generous support of COVID-19 relief funding provided to the Halifax Regional Municipality from the Canadian Medical Association.