Power Snack Supports 1,055 Students in Buena Vista County
“When students are feeling hungry, it impacts their emotional and mental well-being,” said Barb Huseman, a counselor at the Alta-Aurelia Middle School. “Hunger impacts their emotional and mental well-being, resulting in them acting out in different ways, such as hyperactivity, aggression or anxiety.”
In total, 4,300 Power Snacks were delivered to students in Buena Vista County, a donation valued at $34,400. The Program visited four school districts in the county—Albert City-Truesdale, Alta-Aurelia, Newell-Fonda and Storm Lake.
According to the Food Bank of Iowa, food insecurity affects 1 in 5 Iowa children. Simply put, when a child is considered food-insecure it means they do not have enough to eat.
While existing school-based food-assistance programs greatly aid the learning process, many students in the Alta-Aurelia School District and statewide are still left without food on weekends or extended holiday breaks.
“It is not uncommon to see students’ anxiety levels go up on Fridays due to their concern for structured meals over the weekend,” Barb explained. “When they come back on Monday their faces may be sullen or tired due to lack of nutritional needs and healthy snacks.”
Since 2007, Iowa Select Farms and the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation have been passionate about assisting hunger relief efforts in rural Iowa, particularly those directed towards children. Power Snack reduces childhood hunger by providing access to nutritious food at home.
“Power Snack provides students with coupons for deli ham and whole-wheat bread four times throughout the school year,” said Jen Sorenson, Iowa Select Farms Director of Communications. “The goal of the program is to 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 power snacks.”
With support from teachers, principals and counselors like Barb, 91,004 Power Snack coupon booklets will be delivered statewide during the 2019-2020 school year—a contribution valued at $728,032 and enough resources to make 1,092,048 ham sandwich “Power Snacks”.
“What excites me most about this program is knowing that many of our students will be more food secure,” said Barb. “Anything we can do to help them out and teach healthy eating habits is appreciated.”
While the 125 schools participating in the program distribute Power Snack coupon booklets differently, Barb plans to distribute based on free and reduced lunch lists, and also with teacher recommendations.
“Not only are these snacks wholesome, nutritious and an opportunity for students to enjoy fresh meat,” continued Barb. “But they also relieve a lot of the stress as to where their next meal to come from or what there is at home to eat. They really are a great blessing for so many of our families.”
In total, 4,300 Power Snacks were delivered to students in Buena Vista County, a donation valued at $34,400.