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IPS offering meals for any child 18 and younger amid schools closure

IPS offering meals for any child 18 and younger

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Schools across the state are working to navigate a new normal as changes come in response to coronavirus concerns.

One of the biggest questions last week when Mayor Joe Hogsett announced all schools in Marion County would be shut down for at least two weeks was how the children who rely on going to school to get at least two of their three meals a day were going to eat. Now they have come up with a solution, and not only is Indianapolis Public Schools offering to feed all of their students, they are also offering food for any child in need.

IPS plans to feed hundreds of kids a day as schools cancel face-to-face classes.

“Some of these kids, this is the only meal that they are going to have,” said Fawn Cook, IPS food service manager.

A number of locations are serving breakfast and lunch to kids.

“On Friday I think we served a little less than 50 at this one location, and I believe we already surpassed that number and we still have over an hour left to serve,” said Ellen Eichenbaum, IPS food service operations manager.

IPS isn’t just feeding their usual students who rely on school food services.

“If you go to a neighboring township school you can still get a meal. If you are just 3 years old and not able to attend IPS yet because you are too young, you can still get a meal,” said Eichenbaum.

“Just provide their names, their ages and what school they go to,” said Cook.

The district says it is important that the food they are serving kids is nutritious, especially at a time like this.

“It is very important just because right now a lot of the shelves are empty; people are basically overstocking their refrigerators and pantries and there is nothing left, so you guys can at least come out here and get a meal for the day,” said Cook.

Families can pick up meals Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at any of the serving locations.

“So we just want to hand out as many fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy whole grains and protein products, and so our breakfasts and lunches definitely provide all of that,” said Eichenbaum.

As the situation surrounding the coronavirus continues to change, IPS says they are prepared to take on as many kids as needed to make sure no one goes hungry.

“We will continually adjust based on the turnout that we do get,” said Eichenbaum.

There are multiple sites where families can go to pick up food over the next few weeks:

  • George Washington High School, 2215 W. Washington St.
  • Arlington Woods School 99, 5801 30th St.
  • Brookside School 54, 3150 E. 10th St.
  • Carl Wilde School 79, 5002 W. 34th St.
  • Eleanor Skillen School 34, 1410 Wade St.
  • James Whitcomb Riley School 43, 150 W. 40th St.
  • Charles Warren Fairbanks School 105, 8620 Montery Road

The IPS food bus, the Bus Stop Cafe, will offer meal service at two apartment complexes during the week through April 3:

  • Blackburn Terrace, 3091 Baltimore Ave. from 11-11:30 a.m.
  • Laurelwood Apartments, 3340 Teakwood Dr. from 12:30-1 p.m.

IPS will provide breakfast and lunches through at least April 3.

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