Plainfield Community Schools to offer free summer meals

Hundreds of middle school students fill the lunch room. (WISH Photo)

PLAINFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — Plainfield parents are about to get some help this summer. For the first time, the school district will offer free lunches.

A day after the school board approved the free lunches, school employees and library staff brainstormed ideas and goals.

“My dream number is a hundred at each site,” Plainfield Community Schools food services director Kelly Collins said. “I don’t know that I will get that many. It’s going to take a lot of advertising.”

One of those sites is the Plainfield-Guilford Township public library.  Using census data, the federal government said the area is qualified to receive summer lunch money.

“It would help out a lot because you’re used to your kids getting the free lunches at school and then they’re out of school,” Plainfield resident Ashley Kender said.

“I don’t know if there are enough people in need of that so I don’t know if it would be a waste of money, if it could be spent better elsewhere,” Plainfield resident Travis Harmon said. “However, if there are people in need, it’s a wonderful thing.”

This flyer lays out the free summer lunch program that is coming to Plainfield. (Courtesy: Plainfield Community Schools)
This flyer lays out the free summer lunch program that is coming to Plainfield. (Courtesy: Plainfield Community Schools)

School leaders say the need is there. 30 percent of Plainfield students qualify for free or reduced lunch.

Why the library for the free summer lunch program? Librarians said they have kids who check out books, but when it comes to eating librarians say that doesn’t always happen.

“Maybe they’ll go to the vending machine and get a snack, if they’re lucky,” Plainfield-Guilford Township public library community central manager Joanna Carter said. “Sometimes they’ll pool their money together and snacks as a group.”

Plus, staff said a free meal could help more than any required reading list. “It’s the perfect opportunity for people who maybe don’t come to the library very often to come in and get an idea of what the library has to offer,” Carter said.

Anyone over 18 would have to pay $3.75 for a meal. The free lunches start June 6, and run until July 22.

The library will have meals Monday through Friday, from 12:15 p.m. until 1 p.m. They will also be served at Brentwood Elementary, Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. until 11:45 a.m.

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