Power Snack Smashes Hunger in Storm Lake
A big year for Power Snack in Storm Lake! This year, at-risk students in the Storm Lake School District will receive 6,000 Power Snacks and 600 Pork Sticks, or perhaps we should start speaking in ham sandwiches… that’s 72,000 nutritious and wholesome meals for local students in-need.
“We love this partnership with Iowa Select Farms so much, and our students and families love the coupons,” said Barb Lange, Principal at Storm Lake Elementary School. “Students need proper nutrition to focus and be attentive in the classroom. It is difficult for them to learn when they are not having their basic needs met.”
According to the Food Bank of Iowa, food insecurity affects 1 in 7 Iowa children. When a child is considered food-insecure it means they simply do not have enough to eat. And while existing school-based food-assistance programs greatly aid the learning process, many students in Storm Lake and statewide are still left without food on weekends or extended holiday breaks.
“It’s hard to see our students become uneasy on Fridays because they realize there won’t be food at their house over the weekend,” continued Barb. “We see many more behaviors on Fridays.”
Power Snack, a program of Iowa Select Farms and the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation, aims to reduce childhood hunger in Iowa by providing access to nutritious food at home. Since 2015, 7,953 students in Buena Vista County have been supported with Power Snack coupons. The coupon booklets are distributed to qualifying students four times throughout the school year, typically prior to weekends or extended breaks, and can be redeemed at any local grocery store for $5 worth of deli ham and $3 for a loaf of whole wheat or whole grain bread.
“The superhero theme of 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 prepare their own meals,” said Jen Sorenson, communications director of Iowa Select Farms.
According to the USDA MyPlate guidelines, children should eat up to six ounces of lean protein daily, depending on age and gender. Ham is an excellent source of protein, zinc, potassium. Combining the energy and carbohydrates of whole wheat bread with the protein of ham means children will be able to make themselves a real “Power Snack”.
“The idea that students will have the opportunity to have a healthy, filling meal because of these coupons is just so exciting,” said Barb. “We do everything we can to help our students out and these coupons are just one step further in helping make sure no child goes hungry in our district.”