Power Snack visits Story County Schools
723 food insecure students in Story County received Power Snack™ coupon booklets for deli ham and whole wheat bread. A program of Iowa Select Farms and the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation, Power Snack™ aims to reduce childhood hunger by providing access to nutritious foods at home. Deliveries were made to the Colo-Nesco, Nevada and Roland Story community school districts.
This year, Power Snack™ will provide 23,267 children across 127 schools with 837,612 meals—a 23 percent increase from 2017.
“Food insecurity in children is an ever growing concern,” said Tony Stalzer, the At-Risk-Coach for the Colo-Nesco Community School District. “Not only is it an issue for some of these students just to find food, but to also work towards building good eating habits with healthy, nutritious food.”
Thanks to Iowa Select Farms and the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation, at-risk children in rural Iowa received a Power Snack™ kit containing a $5 coupon for deli ham and a $3 coupon for a loaf of whole wheat bread—the ingredients needed to make their own “Power Snacks” at home.
Power Snack™ Teacher Kits were hand-delivered to teachers and school nurses by employees of Iowa Select Farms November 6-20, 2018. Teacher Kits contain program information and four packs of coupons for each child, intended for distribution to at-risk children right before Thanksgiving, winter, spring and summer breaks.
“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,” Stalzer continued. “The coupons can provide the students with something special they may not otherwise have and introduce them to a different source of protein to make meals with.”
“Power Snack™ is indicative of the larger purpose of the program—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 snacks,” said Jen Sorenson, Communications Director of Iowa Select Farms. “Oftentimes parents are working on weekends and holidays. Something simple like a ham sandwich may be the difference in preventing kids from going hungry.”
As farmers and pork producers, Jeff and Deb Hansen, owners of Iowa Select Farms, are passionate about assisting hunger-relief efforts, particularly those directed towards children. The Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation furthered its commitment to Power Snack™ by increasing the number of children served by approximately 13,000 since 2012. As part of their ongoing commitment to rural Iowa, the Hansens continue to direct Foundation efforts towards the communities where Iowa Select Farms employees work and live.
Ham is Lean, Nutrient Rich Protein
“Kids love ham,” explained Sorenson. “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™.”
According to the National Pork Board, pork loin, tenderloin and ham are excellent sources of thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, phosphorus and protein, and a good source of zinc and potassium. The USDA MyPlate guidelines recommend children eat up to six ounces of lean protein daily, depending on age and gender.