New books for ages 5 through 12 are being collected at White Oak Park, Round Hill Park in Elizabeth Twp., and other county facilities to benefit children who receive meals through the summer food program.
Now through June 1, books can be dropped off at the White Oak Park office from 7:30 to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, and at the Round Hill Park office from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Drop-off boxes also are available during regular business hours at the Human Services Building, 1 Smithfield St., downtown Pittsburgh; and at the County Executive’s Office in the Allegheny County Courthouse, 436 Grant St.
The program is being organized by the county's Department of Human Services, which is seeking picture books, "early reader" books, and chapter books appropriate for first through seventh grade. Books should be new and unused. A list of suggested titles is available on Amazon.com.
The summer food program runs mid-June through mid-August and is a free breakfast, lunch and recreation program for children up to 18 years old who receive free or reduced-price lunches during the school year.
The program feeds several thousand children daily at more than 80 sites around the county, a spokeswoman said.
In recent years, along with providing meals, DHS has also offered a selection of books at each site, free for kids 12 and under. Many children who participate in the summer food program do not own books of their own and the children have been very appreciative, the spokeswoman said.
Originally published April 10, 2018.