One of the hardest times for students is being at home during a school break without access to the well-balanced meals they would receive when school is in session. Since 2015, IPS has stepped in to help fill the nutritional void for any student, age 18 and younger.

“Many children rely on our school meals for their daily nutritional needs, so providing outreach during school breaks is important,” said Dena Bond, IPS Food Service director. “Those same children may not have access to food at home when school is not in session.”

During IPS’ recent winter break (Dec. 23-Jan. 3), the Food Service team served 739 meals to students from 12 different locations throughout the city. That breaks down to 135 breakfasts and 604 lunches.

According to the 2015 U.S. census, an estimated 39.7 million people live in poverty in America. More than 175,000 of those people reside in Indianapolis, which means that a number of IPS students are facing each day with an empty stomach or a kitchen cabinet with low-cost, low-quality foods.

During the school year, all IPS students — regardless of income — eat free, healthy, well-designed meals to meet their daily nutritional needs. The district’s Food Service Department also develops meals that address the specific concerns of students with dietary restrictions.

School breaks are folded into the district’s meal service — with breakfast and lunch served during summer, fall, winter and spring breaks. Meals are also provided during inclement weather days (including snow days).

Overall, IPS has served more than 5,700 meals during its meal break programs.