IPS provides free breakfast, lunch for community over spring break

This March 2018 file photo shows students eating food supplied for free by IPS over Spring Break. (WTHR file photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — It's spring break for the state’s largest school district.

Thirty-thousand IPS students are starting two weeks off, but the district is working hard to ensure none of them go hungry through a special program providing free breakfasts and lunches to students and their families.

At Washington High School, the breakfast line was short but hungry. Annette Church, an IPS food service worker, prepared and served the food.

"Usually the favorite thing for breakfast is pancake on a stick, which is usually Thursday but every day you can get cereal and pop tarts along with a hot item," she said.

There was also lots of fresh fruit.

For lunch, she said homestyle chicken bits are a favorite.

"And there are cold options, too," Church said. "So IPS Food Service does a great job at making sure there are plenty of choices for people who maybe have a little pickier taste."

There are 19 locations children 18 years old and younger can get free meals. Adults can eat, too, for about $4.

"It is tremendously important. When we are talking about 70 percent of our students are qualifying for free or reduced services, we know there is a need out there," said IPS spokesperson Carrie Cline Black. "We know we feed our children for free during the school year, so we worry about what those what some of those students are eating when school is not in session."

Children don't have to be IPS students to receive free meals.

"It is a community service," Cline explained. "Any child 18 or younger can come to any of our IPS feeding sites and eat for free. So it really is a service to meet the needs in the community."

Last year, the spring break food program served about 700 meals a day. This year's program runs until Friday, April 5.

Get a full list of locations and what time each location will operate on the IPS website.