Free lunch at the Library for kids & teens this summer!

This summer, we’re excited to offer a daily (Monday – Friday) free lunch at the Library for children and teens! We know that summer break can be challenging for families in our community, and we want to help increase access to healthy lunches for children and teens in Waukegan.

How it works

Kids and teens (up to age 18, or individuals with special needs up to 21) can enjoy a free lunch at the main library from June 19 – August 19. The program is open to all children and teens, regardless of the school they attend, so parochial students and homeschoolers are welcome. The menu will change every day, and lunches will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, Mondays-Fridays at noon, beginning on June 19. We are not able to accept registrations for this special program, so we recommend coming early – but no worries! We’ll have activities for children and teens each day, before and after lunch, as participants do need to enjoy their lunches on-site at the Library.

About the program

We’re participating in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) this summer. SFSP is a federally-funded program that is designed to increase access to meals and snacks when school is out for the summer. Qualifying communities are able to provide free lunches to children up to age 18 (or children with special needs up to age 21) through this program. In 2018, SFSP served more than 1.5 million meals! Click here to learn more from the official website. We’re partnering with Catholic Charities, the Illinois State Board of Education, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, and  Food Service Professionals to make this program possible.

Activities at the Library

We’ll have fun, engaging activities for participants before and after lunchtime, but that’s not all that we’ve got planned for the summer. Sign up for our Summer Reading Program, which runs June 8 – July 20, for a chance to win prizes as you track the books you read with Beanstack! Beanstack is a fun way to keep a reading log, and it’s how you’ll earn badges and tickets to enter our grand prize drawings this summer. Signing up for a Beanstack account is easy: just visit to get started. You can sign up for an account today, but only the books you read during the Summer Reading Program will count for prizes.

Join us every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during the Summer Reading Program for Boredom Busters – pop-up activities in the Children’s Department! (And on Fridays for adults and teens, enjoy some meditative coloring on the main floor, all summer long.) No registration is required.

Our summer concert series is kid-friendly and runs every Friday in June, July & August at noon in the Library’s courtyard. Highlights include acoustic Beatles tribute band Kaleidoscope Eyes to kick off the series on June 7, Latin pop rock from Abel Gallardo on July 26 and Hawaiian music and dance from family band Makani on August 9. Check out our full lineup here!