South Hardin High School Power Snack Delivery
“Our kids are great kids,” says South Hardin High School Principal, Mike Rundell. “They all come from different backgrounds. Anything we can do to level the playing field is important.”
Jen Sorenson with Iowa Select Farms and the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation met up with Principal Rundell to deliver Power Snack™ Teachers Kits to the school. The Power Snack™ program, organized and funded by the Foundation, provides teachers with the means to help thousands of kids and families in need with $5 coupons for sliced or shaved ham and $3 coupons for a loaf of whole wheat bread.
“Combining the energy and carbohydrates of whole wheat bread with the meat protein of ham means the students can get easy and fast nutrition at home, especially during holiday breaks,” said Sorenson.
At South Hardin High School in Eldora, Iowa, over half of their students are on free and reduced lunch—a federal program that provides low cost/no cost school lunches to children of low-income families. “We see a lot of multi-generational hunger and rural poverty every day,” said Rundell. “We’re working with one family to help them get heat and electricity before winter comes.”
Rundell says his teachers and staff work to help their students get nutrition. “Our staff has been learning how to become approachable and deal with basic needs before we can shift to higher-order thinking.” Rundell says his school also started a summer lunch program, so students can get a square meal when school isn’t in session.
He says one of telltale signs of hunger is when they see students sharing their food. “You’ll see some students show up before morning classes with snacks and food from Casey’s and they share, because they know who in their class hasn’t eaten yet.”
In order to try to ease the hunger of any student, Rundell says snacks are always available in the guidance counselor’s offices. “We keep a drawer full of crackers and granola bars, and there is no limit as to how many times a student can take a snack, it’s there for anyone.”
The Power Snack™ Program supports 110 students at South Hardin High School—a contribution valued at $3,520. “We created a super hero theme for the Power Snack program, to help empower students by teaching them how to get to the store, grocery shop for the ham and bread covered by the coupons, and make their own snacks at home,” said Sorenson.
Employees of Iowa Select Farms are delivering the coupons to schools, where principals, teachers and school nurses then distribute the packs to students and their families. The coupons include a shopping guide for kids, and a Protein Power! booklet filled with easy recipes, such as how to make the perfect ham sandwich, scrambled eggs and ham, grilled ham and cheese, ham wraps, ham pizza snacks and ham, cheese and crackers.
“We are very thrilled to have this opportunity to help support our kids,” exclaimed Rundell. “It’s just one more way we can make sure our students are not hungry once they leave the school building.”