Our Super Heroine, PowerSnacker, Stops at Colo-NESCO Community Schools
Our second stop of the day took us down the road to the Colo-NESCO Community Schools where we caught up with K-4 PE teacher and At-Risk Coordinator, Tony Stalzer.
“We love the Power Snack Program because it allows parents to get healthy foods for their kids and provides them with recipe ideas to start making healthy meals at home,” he said. “It’s important that we work with food-insecure students to starting building good eating habits with nutritious food."
Now in its seventh year, Power Snack provides coupons for deli ham and whole wheat bread to 22,751 students across Iowa. New this year, schools will also receive pork sticks to help students in emergency hunger situations.
“We are excited about the addition of pork sticks because they’ll serve as an immediate, nutritious resource for kids,” said Jen Sorenson, Communications Director of Iowa Select Farms. “They pack a powerful protein punch and can help students curb hunger and focus on learning.”
This year, Power Snack will support 40 students within the Colo-Nesco School District. Each student will receive a coupon booklet four times throughout the school year—a $1,280 investment and enough resources to make 1,920 nutritious ham sandwiches.
Statewide, more than 91,000 Power Snack coupons and 10,000 pork sticks will be distributed to 125 schools and districts across Iowa.
“Food feeds the mind and a full belly helps kids focus throughout the day,” explained Stalzer. “We see a difference in kids that come to school hungry compared to students that have enough to eat. The hungry kids are more likely to crave attention, yet go about getting attention the wrong way.”
Power Snack coupons will be distributed before long weekends and holiday breaks, like Thanksgiving at the end of this month. Pork sticks will be available for teachers to give to students on an as-needed basis.
In addition to Power Snack, the kids at Colo-Nesco receive a lot of love and support from their teachers and community members. The district participates in the statewide Backpack program and every Friday, teachers make sure food-insecure children get a bag full of healthy, kid-friendly foods for the weekend. The community also has food banks that offer help to anyone who may need it.
“This is such a wonderful program that helps kids who truly need it,” continued Stanzler. “The kids of our state are the future of our communities, state, country, and our world. We need to do everything we can to give them the best opportunity to be successful.”