INDIANAPOLIS — There’s no doubt times are tough, and Hoosiers could all use a little extra money in their pockets.

Whether you’re looking for a little extra help or a chance to help yourself to a new career, there are several free events planned this weekend which may help you and your family get ahead.

Have you ever thought about driving a school bus? It might be just the job for you. A hiring fair hosted by 4mativ Technologies and DriveIndySchools Saturday, July 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the BELIEVE Circle City High School at 2540 N. Capitol Ave. in Indianapolis. 

Prospective drivers will be put on the fast track in earning their commercial drivers’ license (CDL) or yellow card in order to serve Indianapolis schools as a bus or van driver. Attendees who complete three screening activities during the event, passing a background check, a clean driving record check and also signing up for training and test prep, will earn a $100 gas gift card.

Jasmine Singh, a school account manager for 4mativ Technologies, said it’s a great opportunity to launch yourself into a rewarding career that also helps students just trying to get to school.

“Very important, we are really, really encouraging people that may already have their CDL or would like to get a CDL to attend the event. It’s free to the public,” Singh said. “So with hiring new drivers and having that availability, we can guarantee that a child is able to go to the school that they want to and not have to worry about transportation at the end of the day.”

Happening the same day, there will be a free food distribution event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Church 52 8220 Brookville Rd. in Indianapolis. The event, the result of a new partnership between Midwest Food Bank and Empowering Indy, aims to provide groceries for 500 families. 

Empowering Indy Director Jamie Inskeep said these monthly “pop-up style” food distribution events could evolve into something even greater. 

“Our dream is to offer more than just groceries one day. We’d like to offer services like child support, finding child care, applying for a job, basically empowering families beyond their immediate food needs,” Inskeep said. “We wanted an opportunity to meet more needs on a consistent basis knowing that food is a relevant problem and ongoing problem that families face.”

There are no requirements for the free food, and Inskeep said everyone qualifies with no questions asked, beyond general information which includes how many families the food will serve and the number of those living in your household.