Central Springs School Power Snack Delivery
“I believe these students truly don’t have any food at home,” says Central Springs Elementary Secretary and Backpack Program Coordinator, Paula Beyers. “That’s what I like about the food students receive through this program. It’s all stuff they just open up and can munch on right away without any difficult or lengthy prep.”
At Central Springs School in Floyd County, the Backpack Program began when the school consolidated with North Springs schools, who already had a program in place. Now, Central Springs sends backpacks home with students every other week to families who need a little extra help. Inside are fruits, vegetables and other nutritious items that students can enjoy when they are not at school.
To support the ongoing efforts of the Backpack Program at Central Springs School, Iowa Select Farms and the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation stopped by last week to deliver coupons for shaved ham and whole wheat bread – all of the necessary ingredients for students to make a quick and easy Power Snack.
“The Power Snack Program is a food assistance program for students in grades K-12,” said Logan Sweers of Iowa Select Farms, who helped with the deliveries in Floyd County. “This year the program will reach 18,000 local Iowa students, 85 specifically here at Central Springs. We’re delivering these coupon booklets today and teachers will help us distribute them to students in need four times throughout the school year. So technically we are dropping off 340 coupon booklets for the students in need.”
Included in the Power Snack coupon booklet are two coupons – one valued at $5 that will purchase students a pound of sliced or shaved ham and a second coupon valued at $3 that will purchase students a loaf of whole wheat bread. The coupons are easy to use and allow children to shop for nutritious items that will help keep them full and focused in school.
“Together, these ingredients make a delicious and healthy Power Snack,” explained Sweers. “Lean protein like ham and whole wheat bread are oftentimes more difficult for families to purchase when budgets are stretched thin. The Power Snack Program’s goal is to make these ingredients more accessible to these families and children in need.”
At Central Springs School, the top priority is making sure that all students are cared for no matter their age, background or family’s financial status. “Anybody can sign up for these programs but we’ve found it’s only the ones who truly need it that are signing up,” explained Beyers. She continued, “All of our teachers also keep watchful eyes on their students. If they notice that someone is scarfing down their food, asking for more or simply not focused, those are usually indicators that there’s struggles at home. If that’s the case we’ll send a backpack home with them and contact the parent’s to see if it’s something they’re interested in regularly receiving.”
Backpack deliveries are kept anonymous and Beyers delivers them to student’s lockers while they are out at recess.
“These coupons are going to be a great addition to the backpacks,” said a cheerful Beyers. “They are kid-friendly, which is great because a lot of times Mom and Dad are working and kids are forced to prepare meals on their own. I know these coupons are really going to make a difference in our students that need it most.”