Webster City Schools Power Snack Delivery

posted on Tuesday, March 6, 2018

“It always surprises me how real childhood hunger is in Iowa,” said Lori Hartnett, who works in food services for Webster City Community Schools. “These kids are dealing with such big things at home and not having food is just one piece of the puzzle. It is our job to help provide them with the basic necessity of food.”

In Webster City, more than sixty percent of students in grades K-12 are enrolled in free and reduced meal programs.

“Many of our students depend on school for the majority of their meals,” explained Hartnett. “We offer breakfast and lunch to all students and they feel secure knowing they can come here for a well-balanced meal.”

In addition to daily meals, students at Webster City Community Schools depend on programs like the Backpack Program and PowerSnack to keep their bellies full and their minds focused on learning.

“Through the Backpack Program, students receive extra food to take home on the weekends,” said Hartnett. “Local volunteers prepare the bags for students to receive every Thursday. These bags are for any student in need, not just those on the free or reduced lunch list.”

PowerSnack is a unique program funded by the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation and Iowa Select Farms that provides students in need with coupon packets for $5 worth of shaved ham (about a pound’s worth) and a $3 coupon for a loaf of whole wheat bread. The coupons are distributed four times throughout the school year, typically before extended breaks like the one Webster City Community Schools is about to have next week.

“The PowerSnack coupons are huge for our students,” Hartnett explained. “While the Backpack Program is great, it is mostly just small snack items and food. What these students really need is protein-packed meals, like a ham sandwich. Bread is impossible to send home, so our families are very thankful for these coupons. They help keep students fuller, longer.”

145 students at Webster City Community Schools receive PowerSnacks – a contribution valued at $4,640 and nearly 600 total coupon packets. Using the coupons is simple – students choose their bread and ham, bring them to the register and hand the cashier the coupons. Coupons can be used at any grocery store.

“We are very appreciative of the support our students receive,” said Hartnett. “Our community is very supportive of our food insecure families, especially now that the awareness is there.”