Lincoln Elementary in Charles City Power Snack Delivery

posted on Thursday, January 4, 2018

“At our school, we have over 50 percent of students on free and reduced lunch,” said Jeanine Tudor, the secretary at Lincoln Elementary School in Charles City. “We also have a BackPack program that anyone can use. Since we have been doing that program for a few years now, a lot more students and families are utilizing it.”

The BackPack program is utilized in many of the schools we visited on our Power Snack coupon delivery routes. Each week, students enrolled in the program receive a backpack or lunch box on Fridays full of snacks. The purpose is to make sure food insecure students have something to eat during the weekend, when they are not in school.

“Many of our teachers are the ones who recognize when their student may not be receiving enough nutrients at home,” Tudor said. “They can help their student enroll in the program, but parents can also sign a sheet to sign their child up to receive a bag of food each week.”

The Power Snack Program, an effort of Iowa Select Farms and the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation, has made it easy for teachers and volunteers to include coupons in the backpacks. Brightly colored so that they can easily be spotted in a bag, the Power Snack give food insecure students the means to build their own nutritious power snack. Each student enrolled in the program will receive four sets of coupons, each including a $5 coupon for shaved or sliced ham and a $3 coupon for a loaf of whole wheat bread. The coupon booklets are typically distributed prior to extended holiday breaks, like the one students across Iowa are returning from now, to ensure that no student ever has to wonder where their next meal is going to come from.

“Our demographic changes every year,” Tudor explained. “We have new enrollments and families move, we are very diverse. It is really great to be able to provide these coupons to those in our community who need a helping hand.”

The Power Snack Program is supporting 100 students at Lincoln Elementary – a $2,200 investment toward ending food insecurity at the local level.