Hubbard-Radcliffe Elementary Power Snack Delivery
“These local food-assistance programs are very important because a lot of students simply do not have food at home, they just eat junk food,” said LouAnn Busch, the Health Coordinator at Hubbard-Radcliffe Elementary. “I remember when I worked at the high school I asked a student what he was doing that night and he said, ‘Well, I need to find something for supper,’ and I said, ‘Doesn’t your family eat together?’ and he told me, ‘No I have a bag of chips, a candy bar and a pop ...every night.’ That’s when I knew I needed to do something to help these kids out.”
After 42 years of being a Health Coordinator for the South Hardin Community School District (or school nurse as the students lovingly know her), LouAnn Busch knows what a viscous cycle poverty can be. “I’ve been here so many years I now see students of former students in my office,” she chuckled. “I know these families, I know these children and I know their needs. It puts me in a very difficult position because I see them come to school hungry or dirty and it absolutely kills me. How can I not help them? I am just so glad I can give them access to free food like this.”
LouAnn is talking about the 112 PowerSnack booklets Iowa Select Farms and the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation delivered to her office earlier this week. Inside each coupon booklet are two coupons – one that will purchase students $5 worth of sliced or shaved deli ham and a second that will purchase students a $3 loaf of whole wheat bread. Together, the ham and bread make a nutritious Power Snack, full or protein, iron and zinc that are imperative in both the physical and cognitive development of children.
“We introduced these coupons to our students several years ago and they’ve just been a hit,” Busch explained. “They loved being able to go into the store and get the fresh bread and fresh meat. Those are not things they’re used to having at home and I think it’s been really great for them. This program is making a huge difference because the reality is that kids can’t focus when they’re starving. They need to eat.”
In total, 318 students are enrolled in the Power Snack Program in Hardin County – a $10,176 investment. 228 of those students are from the South Hardin School District. Thanks to Health Coordinators like LouAnn Busch, Iowa Select Farms and the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation will put 1,272 Power Snack coupon booklets directly in the hands of local students who need it most this school year.