570 students in Franklin County received Power Snack™ coupon booklets for deli ham and whole wheat bread. 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. Local schools currently enrolled in the program include North Side Elementary School, South Side Elementary School and West Fork Community Schools.
This year, Power Snack™ will provide 23,267 children across 127 schools with 837,612 meals—a 23 percent increase from 2017.
“Power Snack is a positive program that helps feed our students,” said Tracy Peterson, 3-8 Principal at West Fork Community School District. “Keeping them full helps keep their brains engaged at school so that they can focus on learning.”
Thanks to Iowa Select Farms and the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation, at-risk children in rural Iowa received a Power Snack™ kit containing a $5 coupon for deli ham and a $3 coupon for a loaf of whole wheat bread—the ingredients needed to make their own “Power Snacks” at home.
Power Snack™ Teacher Kits were hand-delivered to teachers and school nurses by employees of Iowa Select Farms November 6-20, 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.
“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.”
As farmers and pork producers, Jeff and Deb Hansen, owners of Iowa Select Farms, are passionate about assisting hunger-relief efforts, particularly those directed towards children. The Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation furthered its commitment to Power Snack™ by increasing the number of children served by approximately 13,000 since 2012. As part of their ongoing commitment to rural Iowa, the Hansens continue to direct Foundation efforts towards the communities where Iowa Select Farms employees work and live.
Ham is Lean, Nutrient Rich Protein
“Kids love ham,” explained 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™.”
According to the National Pork Board, pork loin, tenderloin and ham are excellent sources of thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, phosphorus and protein, and a good source of zinc and potassium. The USDA MyPlate guidelines recommend children eat up to six ounces of lean protein daily, depending on age and gender.
About Iowa Select Farms
Iowa Select Farms is the largest pork producer in Iowa and is committed to responsibly producing safe, nutritious, and high-quality pork for their customers and the food companies they serve. The company has 220,000 sows and annually produces more than one billion pounds of pork. With 800 swine farms across the state, Iowa Select Farms is one of the leading economic engines to Iowa’s rural communities, employing more than 1,200 people, contracting with more than 650 farmers and supporting hundreds of local businesses throughout the state.
About the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation
The Hansen’s, who founded Iowa Select Farms and New Modern Concepts in Iowa Falls, Iowa, established the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation in 2006 to work with philanthropic organizations to relieve hunger, support military families and strengthen efforts to find a cure for childhood cancer while improving the quality of life for cancer patients.