MASON COUNTY — The Mason County Library system has been a leader in feeding local children in times of need, including summers, the teacher strike, and as of Tuesday, COVID-19.
On weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at all three libraries – Point Pleasant, Mason and New Haven – children can stop for a “grab-and-go” lunch bag, according to Library Director Pam Thompson. The food comes from the Huntington Food Bank.
Similar to the offerings in the summer lunch program, the children have several options like chicken bites, beef sticks, cheese sticks or wow butter. Each sack also includes sides such as apple sauce, graham or other crackers, sunflower seeds and more.
The lunch bags are located in the foyer at both the Point Pleasant and New Haven locations. Tables are set up outside in Mason.
Bend Area Story Hour and Tot Time participants were also treated to an end-of-year “drive by” Tuesday at the gazebo, located outside of the New Haven Library. Both programs were cut short this year due to the pandemic. “Miss Pam,” as Thompson is known to the children, decorated the gazebo with blue and yellow balloons. As the children rode up with their parent or guardian, the masked director presented them with one of the balloons, along with a bag full of treats and activities.
The libraries began a soft opening this week, allowing patrons to call in requests for books. The books are placed in a bag, and are waiting for the patrons outside to be picked up. Fax and notary services are also being offered, although library doors will remained locked. Thompson said current plans are to reopen the library to customers in June.
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Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at email@example.com.