Clay Central-Everly Community Schools was Another Stop Today on Our Power Snack Route
“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, more than 40% 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 the money for a smartphone but not food. The reality is that kids don’t control spending in their household.”
A program of Iowa Select Farms and the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation, 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.
“When kids come to school hungry, they are only focused on one thing—their next meal,” said Betsy. “They cannot focus on learning until they get fed. These coupons are a great financial resource for families. A loaf of bread and pound of ham can go a long way in feeding a hungry family.”
Six graders will include the Power Snack coupons and pork sticks in MavPacks, which are distributed each week to hungry children in the district.