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Food Literacy

This guide contains resources pertaining to the New Hampshire Food Literacy initiative that includes nutrition education and food related programming in public libraries.


Food always brings people together, why not at the library? The New Hampshire State Library seeks to improve food literacy at libraries around New Hampshire by providing resources for education about food, nutrition, healthy eating, and cooking that support and improve community health. 

Be a Partner for the 2024 NH Eats Local Month

Sign up to Partner for 2024 NH Eats Local Month. Get your library involved in New Hampshire’s eat local movement!

August is NH Eats Local Month, coordinated by the NH Food Alliance and their network of partners. As vibrant community centers, they recognize New Hampshire’s libraries as valued partners in increasing food and agriculture literacy and helping everyone access and celebrate local food across New Hampshire.

When you sign up to become a partner, you will receive the following to help you promote local food all month long:

  • A library-specific toolkit with reading suggestions, activity ideas, and more to help you share about local food at your library
  • Live Free + Eat Local Challenge poster (8.5in x 11in)
  • Find Local Food postcards
  • Live Free + Eat Local stickers
  • a Live Free + Eat Local tote
  • information about various NH food access programs

Learn more and sign up here >>

Does Your Library Live Free and Eat Local?


Free Webinar

Thursday, April 18 @ 1 pm

Colleen Stewart of the NH Food Alliance hosted a webinar on a toolkit she created to connect New Hampshire's library communities with our local food system. She will share how librarians can use the resources and information in the toolkit to provide food-focused reading suggestions for all ages (the Live Free + Eat Local Reading Guide!), craft programming about local food for their patrons, and get their community involved in local food celebrations, like NH Eats Local Month in August. Join this webinar and become a partner!


More information about Colleen’s work:


The NH Food Alliance, the statewide network behind NH Eats Local Month, is coordinated by the University of New Hampshire’s Sustainability Institute. The NH Food Alliance engages and connects people dedicated to growing a thriving, fair, and sustainable local food system in the Granite State.  Learn more about the NH Food Alliance here:


NH Eats Local Month is a month-long collaborative grassroots marketing campaign that promotes New Hampshire grown, caught, and produced food by connecting Granite Staters directly to farmers, fishers, restaurants, food producers, markets and farm stands, and other food-related businesses. From the Seacoast to the North Country, NH Eats Local Month rallies around New Hampshire’s food and farm economy by gathering Farmers’ Market guides and Pick Your Own lists, sharing stories about farmers, chefs, brewers, and other food producers, and partnering with local food-focused organizations and businesses. Learn more about the NH Eats Local Month here:



Presentation Slides

Does Your Library Live Free + Eat Local? Interest Form

Fill out this form if you are a New Hampshire library interested in partnering for 2024 NH Eats Local Month.




Kitchen in a Box

The Kitchen in a box contains common kitchen tools and appliances for a public library program. This kit was modeled on kits that the Culinary Literacy Center at the Philadelphia Free Library built for their branch libraries to utilize.

To borrow--contact Deborah Dutcher, Library Services Library.

Notice: Thanks to ARPA funds, we now have a second Kitchen in a Box circulating.

Food education or access initiatives funding opportunity

A funding opportunity for U.S. libraries interested in starting or expanding food education or food access initiatives


The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Patrick Leahy Farm to School Grant Program is designed to increase the availability of local foods in schools and help connect students to the sources of their food through education, taste tests, school gardens, field trips, and local food sourcing for school meals. Grants can launch new farm to school programs or expand existing efforts. Applications are open through January 12, 2024.


On an annual basis, USDA awards competitive Farm to School grants that support state, regional, and local organizations as they initiate, expand, and institutionalize efforts to increase access to food and to food education among America’s youth.


Grantees include schools and districts, Indian tribal organizations, agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers, non-profit entities, and state and local agencies.

In other words, public libraries  are eligible to participate in this program, which has been offered annually since 2013.


Are you considering applying for a grant and need support?

In partnership with the USDA, the Kids Garden Community is hosting a special, free informational session on November 8, 2023 from 3:00-4:30 PM ET to provide application support for those applying for youth garden-related projects. Sign up now!

This session will consist of:

  • Grant information presented by the USDA
  • Tips and lessons learned from grantees

Let's Move In Libraries

Everyone has a role to play in increasing healthy living, including libraries! Let’s Move in Libraries is an international initiative to get people of all ages and abilities on the path to health. With their impressive reach and great potential for impact, public libraries can and do support healthy communities through StoryWalks®, seed collections, Yoga classes, gardens, cooking classes, and much, much more. Through Let’s Move in Libraries, public libraries can come together with partners to answer the call to action.

Food in the Library

Food in the Library: Reading & Feeding Your Community

Julie Elmore, Library Director, Oakland City – Columbia Township Public Library, Oakland City, IN (Population served: 3,830)

While some libraries have policies against having food in the library, the Oakland City – Columbia Township Public Library in Indiana embraces food and actively works towards incorporating it across many areas of programming in unique ways. Drive through food pick-ups, growing a vertical indoor garden, programming around food, and partnering with the regional food bank to distribute monthly supplemental food boxes to seniors are just some of the ways this library is helping to combat food insecurity in small and often hidden ways in their community. Julie will share tips about creating partnerships with community organizations and finding the grants to help make these food programs successful.

Afterschool Meals in Libraries – Offering Year-Round Nutrition

 Libraries provide a unique opportunity to combat food insecurity and improve the health and well-being of children in their communities. Interested in learning how? Join this webinar to learn how the Afterschool Meals Program can provide nutritious meals and snacks in libraries. You will hear from two libraries and a program sponsor – Jasmin LoBosso from the Kern County Library in California, Sarah Wright from the Columbus Metropolitan Library in Ohio, and Shannon Amos from the Children’s Hunger Alliance – about their experience starting Afterschool Meals Programs in libraries.


Recording from Wednesday, May 18, 3:00pm ET / 2:00 pm CT / 1:00 MT / Noon PT


The webinar will be recorded and archived on the No Kid Hungry website.


Also check out no Kid Hungry’s resource about summer and afterschool meals and libraries:


This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the New Hampshire State Library.