Shouting Out Our District Partners and Food Access!

All across Indianapolis, people are adjusting the way they work, learn, live and play to support each other in virtual ways that are real and meaningful. Big Green is honored to collaborate with the non-profit and community leaders in our city to help Indianapolis get through this pandemic and work toward a more equitable future. Here, we will regularly highlight amazing local resources responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Week One:

The education landscape of Indianapolis is a complex mosaic of 11 unique school corporations and numerous charter, parochial and private schools. Big Green is currently partnered with 48 schools in five districts in Marion Co, and Plainfield Community School Corporation’s The Imagination Lab. We look forward to continuing to grow our partnerships to more schools and additional school corporations in Marion Co.

Each of our school corporation partners have been working overtime to meet the needs of students, families, teachers and school staff in the midst of sudden and indefinite school closures. In addition to creating infrastructure and content for remote learning, each district has activated plans and partnerships to keep families fed and safe.

Indianapolis Public Schools

Superintendent Alessia Johnson is offering weekly updates to the community via videos posted at myips.org. IPS has updated the home page of the website for easy navigation to information and resources related to the Covid-19 pandemic and school closures.

  • Full Update Page – latest news, updates from Superintendent Johnson, links to additional information and resources.
  • Meal Pick-Up Schedule for Families – schools sites offering meal pick-up for anyone under the age of 18 living in the IPS district.
  • Additional Food Access through Gleaners Food Bank – Gleaners is providing a 17-pound box of meal-making items and food for IPS families at 25 locations on Mondays and Fridays. 
  • Community Resources – including additional food access resources and information about a home learning hotline for students and families.
  • IPS Home Learning Plan – includes plan outline for K-8, high school and preschool, links to paper and virtual learning, WNDY-TV 23 broadcast lesson schedule, Social-Emotional Learning Resources and more.
  • Mental Health Resources – specifically to help cope with Covid-19
  • Staff Resources – specifically related to Covid-19

Indianapolis Public Schools is the largest district in Indiana, covering over 80 square miles, serving over 30,000 students and employing over 5,000 people. Societal inequities are spotlighted within the IPS school communities daily, exacerbated by insufficient county, state and federal funding, and have been made even more acute as a result of the pandemic. In response, the IPS Foundation has launched the IPS Equity Fund to help eradicate these inequities. You can read more and donate.

Beech Grove City Schools

Big Green is partnered in all five of the Beech Grove City Schools. Central Elementary has been able to maintain a digital newsletter tracking a spring planting in their Learning Garden. You can check out photos for plant growth and more here

MSD Perry Township

The district has a Coronavirus News page that provides a variety of links and resources related to school servings, remote learning, affordable internet and more.

  • School Servings – provides information on where families can pick-up a 10 day supply of food on Mondays, and other meal sites.
  • Remote Learning – information for families on the district’s remote learning plan.

MSD Warren Township

Superintendent Tim Hanson provides weekly updates for the MSD Warren Township community, and the Events listing on their website provides up to date information about remote learning, public hearings, teacher office hours and more.

  • Learn at Home Lessons – links to remote learning resources by grade band for the current and past weeks, as well as additional information for families to understand the learn at home plan and assessment.
  • Food Outreach – information on district food outreach is covered in this Superintendent update.

MSD Wayne Township

The district homepage invites families to check back regularly for up to date information regarding school lunches and future school announcements.

  • Pandemic Response Plan – including a link to the MSD Wayne Township Continuous Learning Plan and mental health, mindfulness and social-emotional supports.
  • Parent Communication – This article from the district provides information on when and where children under 18 can access meals three days a week, as well as details on the continuous learning plan.

Additional Food Access opportunities for Marion Co children and families: This is not a comprehensive list. There are many localized efforts by community groups, churches, individual schools and more to ensure children and families in Indianapolis do not go hungry. We all owe a debt of gratitude to those individuals and organizations involved in keeping our community fed. Here are three resources serving all or large portions of the county.

  • Indy Parks Special Meal Service – Indy Parks & Recreation is providing take-away meals for children at locations across Marion County three days per week. The link provides locations and times. Some sites have sandwiches provided for adults by Second Helpings.
  • Community Compass – Indy Hunger Network created this free and easy-to-use app designed to show people where they can find food assistance in Marion County.
  • Lyft Grocery Access Program – The City of Indianapolis has partnered with Lyft to provide $1 rides to and from grocery stores on the Far Eastside and Near Northwest side.

Looking for fresh local food? Indianapolis Farmers Markets are set to open this weekend! Find details and information about other ways to purchase from Central Indiana farmers in our April 30th blog post.