Somerville Public Library to Launch “Food For Thought” Community Gardening and Cooking Initative

New program possible thanks to grant award from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

SOMERVILLE – The Somerville Public Library will soon introduce “Food for Thought,” a community gardening and cooking initiative, thanks in large part to a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant in the amount of $8,315 from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC). The new initiative aims to promote health and wellness, teach practical life skills, build community, and introduce residents to related resources and opportunities citywide.

The community gardening program will begin with an urban gardening lecture this winter and continue with the installation of a teaching garden at the Central Library in the spring of 2019. Additional events will include hands-on educational workshops, as well as the addition of several gardening kits to the library’s circulating collection. Participants of all ages will acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to create and maintain gardens in an urban environment and learn techniques for cooking and preserving fresh produce. Please contact Lilly Sundell-Thomas at (617) 623-5000 x2961 or for more information.

“Somerville’s public libraries are invaluable community assets,” said Mayor Joseph Curtatone. “They not only serve as community gathering places but also as essential educational centers with engaging programs for residents of all ages. Thanks to this grant, the libraries will be able to expand their efforts and reach by introducing yet another initiative that promotes learning and health and wellness, which are important collective community goals.

The MBLC developed this direct grant program using federal funding to help libraries meet local community needs including projects that help jobseekers with career development and job information, programs to help immigrants learn English and identify paths to citizenship, STEM and STEAM projects, programs that serve teen needs, and projects that preserve valuable historical documents. The MBLC also offers grants to increase access to library services for people with disabilities.

“This year’s grants illustrate the vibrant and dynamic ways that libraries connect with their communities,” said Robert Favini, Head of Library Advisory and Development at the MBLC. “The grants help libraries expand service offerings, impact lives and demonstrate why libraries continue to be a vital part of the civic landscape. We are proud of the work that is done by Massachusetts libraries through the LSTA grant program.”

In addition to the direct library grant program, the MBLC uses LSTA funds to support statewide programs and services including summer reading programs, research databases, the statewide eBook program, the Commonwealth Catalog and which has information and resources for residents.  LSTA is administered on the federal level by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in the Commonwealth by the MBLC. More information about LSTA can be found on Board’s website at


About IMLS

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter  and Instagram.

To learn more about all the programs and services offered by the Somerville Public Library, visit

One thought on “Somerville Public Library to Launch “Food For Thought” Community Gardening and Cooking Initative”

  1. Some libraries have an ‘electronics help’ a couple times a month. This would be invaluable to help seniors and others with small issues that they would otherwise have a hard time getting help with. I’ve heard there are students at Tufts who are available to do this. My local library in Maine offers this help.

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