Muncie Community Schools will provide free hot meals to children during its winter holiday break. As IPR’s Stephanie Wiechmann reports, the district has begun offering more meals for students outside of school hours because of community need.
Except for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, MCS says it will serve hot “brunch” each day at Southside Middle School. It uses the term “brunch” because serving times are listed from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM.
MCS is known for its high percentage of free-and-reduced-lunch students – 77 percent of its more than 5,000 students as of October, according to Superintendent Steven Baule.
The district, which still has a long term multi-million dollar budget deficit after six months of state intervention, privatized its food service beginning in the 2016-17 school year with the company Chartwells. Since then, it has begun to serve three hot meals a day in schools. This summer, it served daily breakfast and lunch at three school locations and lunch at a branch of the public library.
In a June presentation to the local Chamber of Commerce, Baule said the district’s food service was “in the black” for the first time in years.