Power Snack visits Hubbard-Radcliffe Elementary
“Local food-assistance programs are very important because a lot of students simply do not have healthy food at home, they just eat junk food,” said LouAnn Busch, Health Coordinator at Hubbard-Radcliffe Elementary.
“I remember when I worked at the high school I asked a student what he was doing that night and he said, ‘Well, I need to find something for supper,’ and I said, ‘Doesn’t your family eat together?’ and he told me, ‘No I have a bag of chips, a candy bar and a pop every night.’ That’s when I knew I needed to do something to help these kids out.”
After 43 years of being Health Coordinator for the South Hardin Community School District, LouAnn knows what a viscous cycle poverty can be.
“I’ve been here so many years I now see students of former students in my office,” she chuckled. “I know these families, I know these children and I know their needs. It puts me in a very difficult position because I see them come to school hungry or dirty and it absolutely kills me. How can I not help them? I am just so glad I can give them access to free food like this.”
LouAnn is talking about the 150 Power Snack booklets Iowa Select Farms and the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation delivered to her office earlier today. Inside each coupon booklet are two coupons—one that will provide students $5 worth of deli ham and a second $3 coupons for a loaf of whole wheat bread.
Together, the ham and bread make a nutritious Power Snack full or protein, iron and zinc—nutrients imperative in both the physical and cognitive development of children.
“We introduced these coupons to our students several years ago and they’ve just been a hit,” Busch explained. “They loved being able to go into the store and get the fresh bread and fresh meat. Those are not things they’re used to having at home and I think it’s been really great for them. This program is making a huge difference because the reality is that kids can’t focus when they’re starving. They need to eat.”
In total, 420 students are enrolled in the Power Snack Program in Hardin County. Each student will receive Power Snack four times throughout the school year—a contribution valued at $13,440.
“When students come to school hungry their behavior is worse and it becomes increasingly difficult for them to focus when they don’t know if there will be dinner when the get come,” said LouAnn. “I love that this program allows us to help them even more.”