“For some of our students, the only food they receive is what they get at school,” said Amanda Strouse, student support services at
Southeast Valley High School. “When students are hungry, they don’t focus well and it could affect their grades. These coupons are going to be such a relief for so many of our families.”
To support food-insecure children in the Southeast Valley School District and statewide, Iowa Select Farms and the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation are delivering 97,500 Power Snacks—coupons for deli ham and whole wheat bread and Pork Sticks. Four times throughout the school year, eligible students will receive a $5 coupon for a pound of deli ham and a $3 coupon for a loaf of whole wheat bread.
“As farmers and pork producers we are passionate about assisting hunger-relief efforts, particularly those directed towards children,” said Jen Sorenson, communications director of Iowa Select Farms. “As part of our ongoing commitment to rural Iowa, we continue to grow efforts like Power Snack.”
In addition to the Middle School, Dayton Elementary, Prairie Valley Elementary and the High School will all receive the coupons. In total, 600 students in the Southeast Valley School District will receive Power Snack throughout the 2020-2021 school year—a contribution valued at $19,200 and enough supplies to make 28,800 ham sandwich “Power Snacks”. Each school will also receive 200 Pork Sticks, which provide an immediate need when hunger strikes.
“When students spend the day worrying about when or where their next meal comes from, it takes their focus away from school,” said Jenny Eckert, counselor at SE Valley Middle School. “If they’re not getting their basic nutrition needs, their body doesn’t have the fuel it needs for daily activities.”
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.
"What excites me most about this program is that it gives kids something forward to eating aside from the bare minimum," said Kyle Johnson, Student Support for the District. "It's a chance to help kids and give them something special."