Power Snack visits East Union Schools
“These coupons are going to be instrumental in helping bridge the gap during holiday breaks when students don’t have access to school meals,” said K’Lea Johnson, Food Service Director at East Union Community School District. “When students come to school with full bellies they are better behaved, have sharper focus and overall learn much better.”
While the holidays are a time for most families to gather around the table and enjoy a delicious meal, it’s unfortunately not the reality for all families across the state. According to the Iowa Food Bank, 1 in 5 Iowa children are considered food-insecure, meaning they do not have enough food to eat.
“We have food pantry, after school snacks and summer food program, but still have students that struggle with hunger,” explained K’Lea. “What excites me most about these coupons is the extra food they are going to provide students that need it most.”
K’Lea is referring to the ham and whole wheat bread Power Snack coupons that 350 students within the district will be receiving. A program of Iowa Select Farms and the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation, Power Snack aims to reduce childhood hunger by providing access to nutritious foods at home.
“Power Snack is indicative of the larger purpose of the program—empower children in food insecure homes by teaching them how to get to the store, shop for nutritious food covered by the coupons and make their own snacks,” said Jen Sorenson, Communications Director of Iowa Select Farms. “Oftentimes parents are working on weekends and holidays. Something simple like a ham sandwich may be the difference in preventing kids from going hungry.”
Four times throughout the school year, students enrolled in the program will receive a $5 coupon for a pound of shaved ham and a $3 coupon for a loaf of whole wheat bread. Coupons can be redeemed at most local grocery and convenience stores.
“Kids love ham,” said Sorenson. “It’s easy to prepare, full of flavor and promotes growth and development. Combining the energy and carbohydrates of whole wheat bread with the protein of ham means the children will have made themselves a real Power Snack.”
Power Snack™ Teacher Kits are being hand-delivered to teachers and school nurses by employees of Iowa Select Farms November 6-19, 2018. Teacher Kits contain program information and four packs of coupons for each child, intended for distribution to at-risk children right before Thanksgiving, winter, spring and summer breaks.
In total, Power Snack will provide 23,267 children across 127 schools with 837,612 meals—a 23 percent increase from 2017 and contribution valued at $744,544.