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Keene Public Library to provide free shelf-stable meals with tips for dinnertime conversations

In an exciting new partnership between Keene Public Library, C & S Wholesale Grocers, and Kids Around the World, Keene Public Library will distribute bags with stable shelf ingredients to prepare meals for family or friends. In addition to ingredients and preparation instructions, packs include a spice packet, tips for mealtime conversations,  and lists of additional material.

According to Feeding America, the overall food insecurity rate in Cheshire County was 9.5% in 2019. The rate for children was 12.7%, higher than the state average. The recent Monadnock Region Food Access Analysis report lists several contributing factors for food insecurity in Cheshire County, such as lack of transportation and the affordability of food. Keene Public Library's Dinner in a Bag program will provide the ingredients needed to make a meal for a family of six. The bags are readily available to everyone. All you have to do is pick up a bag when you visit the library.

Research has shown the benefits of eating meals with family and friends. More than two decades of studies reveal that kids who eat with their families do better in school and have larger vocabularies. Eating with friends and families rather than alone may also lower depression, anxiety, eating disorders, healthier diets, and better cardiovascular health. What may come as unexpected news to some is that shared meals are also beneficial for adults. Taking time to sit down with family or friends can help relieve stress.

Community members can pick up a Dinner In a Bag in Keene Public Library's Youth Department, Atrium, and main reading area on the first. Floor. All programs at the Keene Public Library are free and open to the public. Keene Public Library is located at 60 Winter Street, Keene, N.H. for more information, please call (603) 352-0157 or visit KeenePublicLibrary.org.

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