INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- One organization is making sure students don't go hungry this winter break. They're packing bags full of snacks for students at two schools on the city's south side.
Six years ago, the effort was started by members of the Pleasant Run United Church of Christ. They started packing snacks for about 600 students to take home during winter break. Now, the need has grown. On Wednesday, volunteers packed enough snack packs for 1,300 students at Emmerich Manual High School and Emma Donnan Middle School.
"This is an area where a lot of families struggle financially and a lot of our students rely on school lunches to have adequate food," said Niki Blue, Family and Community Liaison for Manual High School.
State data shows in October, more than 708,000 Hoosiers received food stamp assistance. When school's not in session, the need is even greater to provide elementary and high school kids with one of the most basic necessities.
The kits include pudding, applesauce, granola bars, ramen noodles and popcorn. Each student will go home with 14 snacks, enough for each day of break.
"We’ve asked for partners throughout the community to help us fund this and they’ve been very gracious in doing that," said Pastor Greg Denk.
Many of the students most in need were working to put together the snack packs.
"You’ll always see students sharing their food. You’ll always see students sharing their snacks," said Blue.
The snack packs will be handed out to students Thursday at the end of the school day. The high school's food pantry will also be open during winter break.