“Food insecurity affects our students’ ability to pay attention in class and regulate their emotions,” said Denise Headington, Student and Family Case Manager at Howard-Winneshiek CSD. “It’s important for students to have full bellies so their basic needs are met and they can spend their energy on learning, rather than worrying about when they will eat.”
According to the Food Bank of Iowa, 1 in 5 children are considered food-insecure, meaning they do not have enough to eat.
To support at-risk students in the district, Power Snack, a program of Iowa Select Farms and the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation, donated coupons for deli ham and whole wheat bread.
“This program is such an exciting addition to our ongoing hunger relief efforts,” exclaimed Denise. “These coupons are going to provide extra assistance to families that truly need it and most importantly, keep our students nourished.”
Four times throughout the school year, 537 students in the district will receive a $5 coupon for deli ham and a $3 coupon for whole wheat bread—the ingredients necessary to make their own healthy “Power Snacks” at home.
“Kids love ham,” said Jen Sorenson, Communications Director of Iowa Select Farms. “It’s easy to prepare, full of flavor and promotes growth and development. Combining the energy and carbohydrates of whole wheat bread with the protein of ham means the children will have made themselves a real Power Snack.”
The USDA MyPlate guidelines recommend children eat up to six ounces of lean protein daily, depending on age and gender. And according to the National Pork Board, ham is an excellent source of important nutrients like zinc, potassium and protein, among many others.
“We are wrapping up Power Snack deliveries at 127 schools statewide,” explained Sorenson. “Teachers, principals and other staff will help distribute coupons before extended weekends or holidays when a majority of students go without important meals like breakfast and lunch they typically receive at school.”
In total, 2,148 Power Snack coupon booklets were delivered to the Howard-Winneshiek Community School District—a contribution valued at $17,184 and enough resources to make 19,332 ham sandwiches.