The Blackfalds Public Library will now be able to offer their after-school care kids healthy snacks after a generous donation from the Alberta Treasury Branch in town.
“Snacks in the Stacks was first started at the Camrose Library,” Librarian Karen Corbier said. “I got interested in it last year and applied for a Dow grant, but we didn’t get accepted.”
”One of my patrons works for ATB and they gave us a generous donation. It will cover all of my food cost and also some serving items as well.”
After learning that they could fund the program, Corbier consulted with a dietician to ensure they are using healthy snacks.
“The idea behind it is that we would like offer healthy snacks to our after-school program kids on Tuesdays and Thursdays of every week,” she said. “We came up with simple ideas like vegetable sticks with ranch dip, yogurt with frozen berries and little trays of grapes, crackers and cheese.”
Corbier saw the need for the program after she noticed several of the young people coming into the library after school were often hungry.
“We have kids come in after school and sometimes don’t go home until seven at night,” she said. “I am not sure if they have had lunch, so this is something we thought we would implement. In Blackfalds it is all about the kids.”
The Snacks in the Stacks and the after-school program are just two of the ways that the Library in Blackfalds are serving the community.
“A lot of people think that libraries are becoming dinosaurs and that is not true,” she said. “We offered a summer reading program here for our kids and we had over 400 people through our doors everyday.
“Our board has decided that all library memberships are free, which is great.”
The program will initially serve from 20-30 kids, but Corbier hopes to expand the program if they receive further funding or donations.
“We decided to start trying it on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” she said. “If that goes well and we get more funding, we could offer it more days of the week and throughout the summer.
“This was a very generous donation and we would like it to be a program we start and don’t have to stop.”
She added, “If you haven’t been to our library — come in. It is beautiful.”