July 14, 2017

IPS Food Bus - The Bus Stop Cafe

Children wait in line outside of the Bus Stop Cafe, the first and only IPS food bus, at the Stratford Apartment Complex on the city’s west side. 

There’s been a steady stream of children lining up for lunch outside The
Bus Stop Café, the district’s new food bus that made its debut on
Monday, July 10, at the Stratford Apartment Complex. 

Food Bus

And the numbers are increasing daily. “There
continues to be an outpouring of support and appreciation from the families served
at the Stratford Apartments,” said Dena Bond, director of the IPS Food Service
Department. “Children are often waiting on the bus to arrive. Some watch out of
their windows and come running out when the bus pulls up.” Making three
stops a day — two at the Stratford and one at Jonathan Jennings School 109 —
the Food Service team served 485 meals in the first four days with the bus. Comparatively,
said Bond, they served 398 meals in the first four days of the previous week
without the bus.    During its
inaugural week, the menu included pepperoni pizza, chicken tenders, fresh
Romaine salad, zucchini, bananas, strawberries and more. The Bus Stop
Café is just one way IPS is feeding district children through its 2017 IPS
Summer Meal Program. Featuring 34 locations (IPS schools and a few satellite spots)
throughout the city, the Food Service team has been serving breakfast and lunch
through July 21. To date,
approximately 60,000 meals have been served since the summer meal program
started on June 12. That’s an eight percent increase from last summer. The Bus
Stop Café is only adding to the program’s success. Run similar
to a food truck, the colorful full-size bus — a former IPS bus that once
transported students to and from school — has been completely overhauled. On its exterior, it’s equipped
with TVs and foldout tables for students on its exterior. Inside are a number
of innovative features — from a stainless steel griddle, air conditioning units
and milk coolers, to its double-stacked ovens, refrigerators and much more. Built to serve 600 students at any given time, the Bus Stop
Café will continue providing meals throughout the year — including during the fall
and spring breaks. Bond said it will also be available to rent for events that
any school within the district plans to hold for its students. For now, The
Bus Stop Café will continue providing meals three times a day through July 21. Monday
through Friday, the bus will serve lunch at Jonathan Jennings School 109, 6150
Gateway Dr., from 11:15 to 11:45 a.m., followed by two stops at the Stratford
Apartment Complex, 3201 Watergate Road, from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. (at the leasing
office) and from 1 to 1:30 p.m. (at the clubhouse). For additional food location sites and times
for the 2017 IPS Summer Meal Program, click here.