Power Snack visits Colo-Nesco CSD
“Food insecurity in children is an ever growing concern,” said Tony Stalzer, K-4 PE teacher and at-risk coordinator for the Colo-Nesco School District. “Not only is it an issue for some of our students just to find food, but to also work towards building good eating habits with healthy, nutritious food.”
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.
“Food feeds the mind and a full belly helps kids stay focused and attentive throughout the day,” continued Tony. “Hunger prevents students from being able to concentrate during class.”
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.
“The goal of Power Snack 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 at home,” said Jen Sorenson, communications director of Iowa Select Farms.
40 students in the Colo-Nesco School District will receive Power Snack coupons four times throughout the school year—a contribution valued at $1,280. Statewide, nearly 100,000 Power Snacks will be distributed.
“These coupons will be a valuable addition to children in our school district, especially during extended holiday breaks where they are not at school getting a balanced meal,” Tony continued. “Plus the recipe booklets included with the coupons give kids a head start to making healthy meals at home.”
In addition to Power Snack, students at Colo-Nesco schools receive a lot of love and support from their teachers and community members. The district has a Backpack program and every Friday, teachers make sure students in-need are sent home with food for the weekend. The community also has food banks that offer help to anyone who may need it and the school is considering starting a food pantry of their own.
“This is such a wonderful program,” said Tony. “Kids are the future of our communities, state, country and world. We need to do everything we can to give them opportunities to be successful.”