PowerSnack's Second Stop Today was to Afton and East Union Schools
“These coupons are going to be instrumental in helping bridge the gap during holiday breaks when students don’t have access to school meals,” said K’Lea Johnson, Food Service Director at East Union Nutrition Department. “Knowing that they’ll have food at home is very reassuring.”
Our second visit of the morning brought us to Afton and East Union Schools, located right down the road from the Iowa Select Farms Warehouse. We caught up with K’Lea and talked briefly about the positive impact she’s seen Power Snack have since first working with the program a few years ago.
“When kids come to school hungry, they’re tired and unable to concentrate,” she explained. “But when they come to school with a full belly, it reduces the number of behavioral issues we see. Being able to send these coupons home before extended holiday breaks has been huge. They keep kids fed even when they’re not at school.”
New this year, in addition to the deli ham and whole-wheat bread coupons, schools are receiving pork sticks for emergency hunger situations.
“Oftentimes parents are working on weekends and holidays. Something simple like a ham sandwich may be the difference in preventing kids from going hungry,” said Jen Sorenson, Communications Director for Iowa Select Farms. “We are especially excited about the addition of pork sticks because they’ll serve as an immediate, nutritious resource for kids.”
In total, East Union schools received 1,500-$5 deli ham and $3 whole wheat bread Power Snack coupons and 75 pork sticks. The coupons can be redeemed at area grocery stores and are commonly distributed before extended holiday breaks, like Thanksgiving, four times throughout the school year.
Power Snack, a program of Iowa Select Farms and the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation, aims to reduce childhood hunger by empowering children in food-insecure homes, teaching them how to get to the store, shop for nutritious food covered by the coupons and make their own “Power Snacks” at home.
The Program supports 22,751 students statewide, 360 of which are enrolled at East Union Community School District.