Power Snack visits Charter Oak-Ute CSd

posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2018

“The unfortunate reality is that without the school providing meals for our students, a lot of them go without,” said Rollie Wiebers, superintendent at Charter Oak-Ute Schools. “On days off, it’s not uncommon for students to come to school to see if they can get something to eat.”

In Iowa, 1 in 5 children do not have enough to eat. And although school-based food-assistance programs for children from low-income families greatly aid the learning process, children may still suffer from food insecurity on weekends and holiday breaks.

“It’s important for students to have full bellies because they can concentrate, feel better and have more energy to be engaged,” continued Rollie. “We definitely see a difference in students that come to school hungry versus those that do not.”

Power Snack, a program of Iowa Select Farms and the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation, is aimed at reducing childhood hunger in Iowa by providing food-insecure students access to nutritious foods at home. Each child enrolled in the program receives coupons for $5 of deli ham and $3 for a loaf of whole wheat bread—ingredients to make their own protein-packed Power Snacks at home.

“We’re excited to participate in this program because it gives us the ability to help our students who need it most,” said Rollie. “Teachers will help us distribute these coupons before extended breaks, or when students are in need.”

Now in its sixth year, Power Snack supports 23,267 children statewide in grades K-12. Within the Charter Oak-Ute School District, 95 students will receive Power Snacks four times throughout the school year—a contributed valued at $1,900.

“We’ve worked hard to grow Power Snack every year, with a special emphasis on ensuring rural Iowa communities benefited from the initiative,” said Allyson Ladd, communications specialist at Iowa Select Farms. “No child should ever have to go without food, and we’re doing everything we can to ensure that.”