Chariton, Iowa Preschool is a part of the Power Snack Program
“When kids come to school hungry, it affects their performance,” said Susan Duley, a teacher at Chariton, Iowa Preschool. “Rather than learning, they are focused on filling their tummies or having tummy aches. Sometimes they just don’t know how to express what they’re feeling, but it’s hunger.”
According to the Food Bank of Iowa, 1 in 5 children are considered food-insecure and unfortunately, several of those children are in Lucas County.
“It’s hard to believe that childhood hunger exists right in our own backyard, which is why programs like Power Snack are so appreciated,” she said. “Anything we can do to help our kids at the local level.”
Power Snack, a program of Iowa Select Farms and the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation, aims to reduce childhood hunger by providing access to nutritious foods. Children enrolled in the program receive a $5 coupon for deli ham and a $3 coupon for a loaf of whole wheat bread.
New this year, participating schools will also receive pork sticks—a protein-packed snack that schools can keep on hand to curb emergency hunger situations.
“What excites me most about this program is that it provides our kids access to healthy foods that they can actually prepare themselves,” said Susan. “When they’re full, they are able to focus on the skills they need to be successful. Protein is essential for growing children and brain development.”
Now in its seventh year, Power Snack supports 22,751 students statewide. Between November 11-22, 2019, 91,004 Power Snacks and 10,000 pork sticks will be delivered to 125 schools and districts across Iowa.