The Hamilton County School District is home to 21 schools and thousands of students. What many people in our community may not realize is that there are children in these schools who experience food insecurity. In fact, according to Gleaners Food Bank, approximately 12,500 kids in Hamilton County do not have enough food to eat.
Indy Snack Attack is on a mission to help. Founded five years ago by Hamilton County resident Lori Fowler, Indy Snack Attack is a non-profit organization that provides weekend snack bags to students in the HSE school district.
“I’ve always had a passion for working in food pantries and had volunteered at ones in Fishers and Noblesville,” says Fowler. “I thought there was probably a need to help kids in this way so I came up with the weekend snack idea.”
Indy Snack Attack is designed to fill in the gaps for students when food may be scarce for them over the weekend. As Founder and Executive Director of Indy Snack attack, Fowler manages the food donations and works to pack the snacks into bags that are delivered to 14 HSE schools each Thursday. Students receive the snacks on Fridays.
Thorpe Creek Elementary in Fishers partners with Indy Snack Attack and Principal Sara Curran is grateful for the organization’s help. “Snack bags are delivered to TCE each week and our counselor discreetly places these bags in the backpacks of participating students,” Curran says. “The food in these bags helps to sustain our students over the weekend when they are not eating at school. In 2013, we had approximately 35 students benefiting from this service. Today, we have approximately 85 students benefiting from the weekly snack bags. Indy Snack Attack is an integral partner in our school community.”
Indy Snack Attack’s reach has steadily expanded over the years. “The first year we had 20 kids in the program. Now we serve 375 kids,” Fowler says. She hopes to add three more schools this year.
Students that are part of the HSE free and reduced meal plan are eligible to receive Indy Snack Attack bags. “We help kids in kindergarten through high school,” says Fowler. “We work with mostly guidance counselors at school and leave it up to them to ID the kids to us.”
Two types of snack bags are offered. Students in kindergarten through 4th grade receive five snacks that are “open and eat.” Individually wrapped crackers and granola bars are good examples of the types of food found in the K-4 bags. Kids in grades 5-12 have ten snacks in their bags which may include items that are microwaveable like ramen noodles, macaroni and cheese, etc.
Indy Snack Attack is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and help from the local community is welcomed. Both food and tax deductible monetary donations are accepted. “We are a 100% volunteer organization,” Fowler says. “We’ve had clubs like Girl Scouts, Fall Creek Junior High Honor Society and others pack bags for us. All ages can help out including families and businesses.”