Food scarcity hits home when schools close for summer


HANCOCK COUNTY — The end of the school year is a reason to celebrate for many students, but for some it’s a reason to wonder where they’ll get their next meal.

Local schools often help fill the gap for families who struggle to put enough food on the table, especially in the summer months when kids are unable to grab a meal at school.

“Summer food resources help fill the gap for many families,” said Terry Miller, a social worker at Weston Elementary School in Greenfield who helps distribute a list of local summer food resources for families near the end of each school year.

Schools have become a dependable free food source over the past two years — regardless of household income —since a federal mandate made breakfast and lunch free for all public school students on school days to help ease financial hardship brought on by the COVID pandemic.

After COVID abruptly shut down schools in March 2020, school staff scrambled to find ways to keep kids fed — offering free food in drive-up lines throughout Hancock County and other parts of the U.S.

Now that the National School Lunch Program’s free meals for all concept — and the school year — is coming to an end, some families will be looking to other resources to make ends meet.

“With school being out for the summer, many families will struggle to feed their children. This is where the school-based program, as well as the other services available, come in handy,” said Miller. “Families can still feed their children and not have to worry about increased grocery costs.”

The Greenfield-Central Schools are once again providing meals at a number of locations, including three different schools and the concession stand at the city pool.

The meals are free to children 18 and younger, as well as those over 18 who are enrolled in an approved educational program for the mentally or physically disabled. All meals must be consumed on-site.

Both breakfast and lunch are available at Greenfield-Central’s high school, junior high school and intermediate school weekdays from May 31 through July 22 (except for July 4) with breakfast and lunch served at varying hours at each school. Lunch will also be available at the Kathy Dowling Aquatic Center’s concession stand weekdays between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Meals will also be provided to participants in the Greenfield Parks Department Kids Kamp as well as Boys and Girls Club of Hancock County.

Mt. Vernon Consolidated Schools are not participating in the summer food service program this year but are referring families to a number of local resources for assistance, including local food pantries and the No Kid Hungry program.

The Kenneth Butler Memorial Soup Kitchen serves free food at both lunch and dinner weekdays, and provides weekend sack lunches as well.

Families can access food through the Hancock County Food Pantry in Greenfield twice a month, or through the Gleaners Mobile Food Pantry at Fortville Christian Church one Saturday per month.

Baby formula, baby food and diapers can be acquired through the Life Choices Care Center in Greenfield.

Meals on Wheels of Hancock County also provides one hot and one cold meal to recipients at lunchtime, Mondays through Fridays, with no age or income restrictions.

A number of church ministries throughout the county are also in place to serve those in need, including programs at McCordsville United Methodist Church, which staffs a pantry on Wednesdays and hosts a community dinner and community breakfast once a month.

Other churches cover food scarcity needs in others corners of the county, including Vineyard Community Church at Mt. Comfort, Cumberland First Baptist Church in Cumberland and Cross of Grace Lutheran Church in New Palestine.

Fortville Christian Church serves as the home base for the Fortville Area Resource Mission, a collaboration of churches known as FARM.

Non-perishable food items are also available at Blessing Boxes located throughout the county, which are accessible 24/7. The community is encouraged to restock the boxes, which remain unlocked at all times.



Summer Meals for Kids (available to all children 18 years and younger)  Free 

*Meals are also available to persons over 18 years who are enrolled in an approved educational program for the mentally or physically disabled. All meals must be consumed onsite. 

Greenfield-Central High School 

810 N. Broadway St. 

Door #14  West side of building 

May 31-July 22  weekdays only, closed July 4 

Breakfast: 7:30-8:30 a.m. 

Lunch: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 

Greenfield-Central Junior High School 

1440 N. Franklin St. 

Door #11  West side of the building in the bus parking lot 

May 31-July 22  weekdays only, closed July 4 

Breakfast: 7:30-8:30 a.m. 

Lunch: 11 a.m.-noon 

Greenfield Intermediate School 

204 W. Park Ave.  Door #3  South side of building 

May 31-July 22  weekdays only, closed July 4 

Breakfast: 8-9 a.m. 

Lunch: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 

Kathy Dowling Aquatic Center Concession Stand 

300 Apple St., Greenfield 

May 31-July 22  Weekdays only, closed July 4 

Lunch: 11:30 a.m.  12:30 p.m. 

Kenneth Butler Memorial Soup Kitchen 

202 E. Main St. Greenfield 

Monday-Friday, 11:00 a.m -1 p.m., 5-7 p.m. 

Open to all at no cost, free will offerings accepted 

Weekend sack lunches are available for pick-up on Fridays, sign-up Monday-Thursday 


Hancock County Food Pantry 

741½ S. State St., Greenfield 

Monday  1-2:30 p.m., 5:30-6:30pm 

Tuesday  9-10:30 a.m., 6-7 p.m. 

Wednesday  7-8 p.m. 

Thursday  7-8 p.m. 

May be accessed twice per month. Must show proof of Hancock County residency and meet income guidelines shown on website. 


Gleaners Mobile Food Pantry 

No proof of residency or income is required. Must be 18+. 

Participants must provide their own bags, boxes, carts, or wagons. 

Fortville Christian Church 

9450 N. 200 W., Fortville 

10 a.m.-12 p.m. (or until food is gone) 

May 28, June 25, July 23, August 27, Sept. 24 

Life Choices Care Center 

1454 N. State St., Greenfield 

Baby formula, baby food, diapers 

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday  11 a.m.-5 p.m. 


Blessing Boxes 

These are locations where individuals can get several items of non-perishable food items from a cabinet, free of charge. It is designed as a short-term solution for those who temporarily have unmet needs. All are available 24/7. 

Greenfield locations: 

Greenfield Police Department lobby, 116 S. State St. 

Riley Park, Apple and Main streets (near the tennis courts) 

Greenfield Elks Lodge, 820 S. State St. 

Corner of Pennsylvania and South St. 

Church at the corner of Franklin Street and Davis Road 

New Palestine location: 

35 E. Main St.  backside of a building across from the town hall and police department 

The David Nolen Pantry of Hope 

11850 Brookville Road, Indianapolis 

Thursdays, 5-7 p.m. 


Connect2Help 2-1-1 

2-1-1 is an information and referral line that connects people to vital social services, such as food, clothing, shelter, counseling, etc. When a person calls 2-1-1, specially-trained information and referral personnel assess what services are needed and provide the appropriate resource and related information. Free and confidential. Available 24/7. Dial 2-1-1 on your phone or visit Indiana 211. 

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) 

Provides food assistance to low and no-income people and families living in the United States so they may buy the nutritious food needed for good health. 

Contact Hancock County Division of Family Resources 

1290 N. State St. Suite A, Greenfield 


Meals on Wheels of Hancock County 

Delivers one hot and one cold meal at lunchtime weekdays. Weekend meals available. 

No age or income restriction. An application, $10 to apply, and a prescription from a doctor to 

specify nutrition needs are required. 

Cost is based on income. Participants must live in Hancock County. 


Central Indiana Council on Aging (CICOA) 

CICOA delivers freshly prepared, frozen, wholesome meals every two weeks to residents of Marion and the surrounding counties, Monday through Friday. 

Suggested contribution is $3 per meal. 

To be eligible individuals primarily should be confined to their home due to physical or mental health reasons, unable to prepare their own meals and meet one of the following eligibility criteria: at least 60 years of age; the spouse of someone at least 60 years of age; or under the age of 60 with a disability and receiving services through CHOICE, SSBG, or Medicaid Waiver. 


Church Ministries: 

Angel Connection 

McCordsville United Methodist Church 

6247 W. Broadway, McCordsville 


Food pantry open Wednesdays from 9-10 a.m. 

Community Dinner  2nd Saturday of each month (January  August), 4:30-7 p.m. 

Community Breakfast  3rd Saturday of each month (January  October), 7:30-10 a.m. 

Community Outreach Ministry Eastside (COME) 

Cumberland First Baptist Church, 116 S. Muessing St., Indianapolis 

Serves residents of Buck Creek and Sugar Creek Townships (Hancock County) 

and Warren Township (Marion County) 


Pantry is open Wednesdays, 1-3 p.m. 

FARM  Fortville Area Resource Mission 

Fortville Christian Church 

9450 N. County Road 200W, Fortville 


Tuesdays from 12:30-2:30 p.m. (doors open at 11:30 a.m.) 

Third Tuesdays each month from 6-7 p.m. (doors open at 5:30 p.m.) 

Groceries of Grace and Grace Garden 

Cross of Grace Lutheran Church 

3519 S. 600 W., New Palestine 

Food pantry offering fresh food and non-perishable food items to individuals and families. 

Call church office between 9 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays to schedule an appointment 


Vineyard Community Church at Mt. Comfort 

1672 North 600 West, Greenfield 

This is currently a mobile pantry where bags are pre-packaged. Participants are encouraged to stay in their vehicles and not come any earlier than 10-15 minutes before start time. New guests will be asked to fill out an information sheet. 

First Wednesday of each month  12:30-2:30 p.m. 

Third Sunday of each month  1-3 p.m. (June’s date has been changed to June 12) 


Wellspring Food Pantry @ Brandywine Church 

Brandywine Community Church 

1551 E. New Road, Greenfield 

Mondays 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 

Tuesdays noon-7 p.m. 

Thursdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 

Delivery can be made for anyone in a high risk or immunocompromised category if in the Greenfield area. 


Love INC of Greater Hancock County 

Following a brief intake, Love INC may be able to refer families to churches with food pantries, household items and/or cleaning products ministry. 

Office hours are 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. weekdays. Voice mail messages may be left at any time. 

[email protected] 

No Kid Hungry 

Text “food” or “comida” to 304-304 

U.S. Department of Agriculture  Summer Meal Program 

Text “Summer Meals” or “Verano” to 914-342-7744 


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