Clay Central-Everly Community Schools PowerSnack Delivery
“Food insecurity is prevalent in our community whether we realize it or not,” said Betsy Schoelerman, an Ag and Family Consumer Science teacher and FFA Advisor at Clay Central-Everly Community Schools. “Some students hide it well. They dress nice, are clean and have smartphones. But the reality is that nearly half of our students qualify for free or reduced lunch.”
At Clay-Central Everly Community Schools, 43% of students qualify for food-assistance lunch programs. For Schoelerman and other teachers at school, it can be tough to look around and see so many students struggling with food insecurity.
“It’s such a sad thing because the situation is almost always out of the child’s control,” continued Schoelerman. “It’s difficult to imagine how a parent could find money for a smartphone but not food. The reality is that kids don’t control the spending in their household.”
Power Snack, a program that provides assistance for food insecure students, supports 59 students in the Clay-Central Everly School District – a contribution valued at $1,888. Funded by the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation and Iowa Select Farms, Power Snack provides students with a $3 coupon for a loaf of whole wheat bread and a $5 coupon for a pound of sliced or shaved deli ham. Coupons are distributed four times throughout the school year, most commonly before extended breaks when students don’t have access to meals at school.
Bright in color and branded with superheroes, the goal of Power Snack is to educate students on eating nutritious foods by encouraging them to get to the grocery store, redeem the coupons and make their own delicious, nutritious power snacks at home.
And speaking of superheroes – let’s talk about the students at Clay-Central Everly that are taking a stance against hunger!
“The MayPack Backpack Program is in its fourth year of operation and is run solely by our FFA Chapter,” explained Schoelerman. “Students volunteer their time to fill backpacks with food for students in need. It’s been a very rewarding project for them to work on that opens their eyes to food insecurity at the local level.”
Supported by the generous donations of local service and church organizations, the MayPack Backpack Program is an example of Iowans helping Iowans.
“We handed out the Power Snack Coupons with our Thanksgiving and Christmas MayPacks,” Schoelerman continued. “The coupons enabled our students and their families to stretch their food dollars a little further during the holidays and extended break from school. It’s important that everyone has access to wholesome, nutritious meals and these coupons help make that possible.”