Volunteers who read to kids in the Plainfield, NJ, schools, have partnered with district officials to give away books when students pick up meals during the COVID-19 lockdown. With closures of public libraries, school libraries, and classroom book collections, students have no free access to books. To increase access to printed literature SMART Plainfield volunteers launched their new book-giveaway program called Lunchboox.

“I can’t imagine a world without books,” said SMART Plainfield co-founder Katherine Balch. “They helped me navigate childhood, young adulthood, parenthood, and now seniorhood! So I’m hoping that this give-away program will place stories in the hands of kids right when they could use a distraction or an answer.”

Through the Lunchboox program, residents have generously donated scores of books, some in Spanish, for elementary school students. SMART Plainfield members sort the books according to grade level and distribute them to students at Clinton, Emerson, and other elementary schools during meal pickups.

SMART Plainfield is a group of neighbors and parents, retirees and business people, who volunteer to read and present to students in the Plainfield, NJ, schools. To contribute books in good condition, contact members on Facebook (@SMARTplainfield) or by email (SMARTplainfield@gmail.com).