INDIANAPOLIS — An effort is underway to help make sure no child goes hungry this summer. Indianapolis Public Schools summer meal program just kicked off this week and dozens have already taken advantage of it.
Leaders at IPS said there has always been a need for programs like this and the need has only grown since the pandemic began.
“When we don't have enough food we just come and get the food for the kids so they're not hungry,” Joyce Anderson, an Indianapolis mother of two said. She explained that putting food on the table for her family isn’t always easy.
“I didn't have enough income to feed the kids and get them food, so the schools they helped out a lot.”
Anderson is not alone. According to data from Feeding America, one in seven children in Indiana face hunger.
“It is extremely important just because families are really struggling. Parents are without jobs due to COVID. These meals will just take less stress off the parent. They know that they can come and get a good meal for the week and not have to worry about that part,” Tenisha Shouse, Food Service Operations Manager for IPS said.
IPS is opening eight schools on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 to 12:00 p.m. for the meal pick-up program. It is available to any child 18 and younger. They do not need to be enrolled in the district.
Families get three days worth of meals on Tuesdays and two days worth on Thursdays.
You can see a full list of participating schools here.
During the 2020-2021 school year which ran from August 17 to June 3, IPS provided 767,803 free breakfasts and 1,167,305 lunches to students in need.