Foundation doubles down on efforts to fight childhood hunger
550 students in Hamilton County receive deli ham and whole wheat bread coupons
West Des Moines – With one in seven Iowa children facing food insecurity, Iowa Select Farms and the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation are fighting back with 1,000,000 ham sandwiches, 20,000 pork sticks and educational resources for teachers. These nutritious, protein-packed goodies are through the Foundation’s Power Snack† program, which has helped 4,451 food-insecure children in Hamilton County since the program started eight years ago.
Last year, the Foundation added pork sticks to provide a portable, immediate infusion of protein to curb hunger and help children focus on learning This year, Northeast Hamilton, Webster City and South Hamilton will all receive the Power Snack coupons and 200 Pork Sticks.
“We surveyed teachers and administrators who participated in Power Snack† and made some modifications to the program this year,” said Allyson Ladd, Communications Specialist at Iowa Select Farms. “The teachers spoke of the power of the immediate result of the pork sticks, so we have doubled that donation this year to 20,000 sticks.”
In addition to doubling their donation efforts, Iowa Select Farms and the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation have developed educational cooking demonstrations as a resource for teachers. These videos are designed to start a conversation in the classroom about nutrition and the importance of healthy eating. Young chefs dressed in colorful PowerSnack† aprons and hats appear in the videos to prepare recipes using deli ham including ham pinwheels, superhero ham sandwiches, scrambled eggs and ham, ham and cheese pizza bites, ham and cheese cracker sandwiches and ham and cheese egg cups. The videos will be shared on company social media platforms and YouTube.
Between October 19 and 30, Iowa Select Farms’ employees will distribute Power Snack† Teacher Kits. In total, the kits contain 20,000 pork sticks and coupons for 1,000,000 ham sandwiches to children at 99 schools across Iowa. Power Snack† helps reduce childhood hunger in Iowa by providing kids access to nutritious food at home. Four times throughout the school year, children identified by the school as food insecure receive a $5 coupon for deli ham and $3 coupon for a loaf of whole wheat bread.
According to the Food Bank of Iowa, one in seven Iowa children are considered food insecure. Holiday breaks are usually when most students struggle with food insecurity, but COVID-19 presented additional challenges for schools, including how to keep their students well-fed even when they’re not in the building.
— submitted photo
Danielle Enderson, Backpack Program Coordinator at Webster City Community Schools, is pictured with Jen Sorenson from Iowa Select Farms and the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation. 200 students in Webster City grades K-12 will receive Power Snack coupons and Pork Sticks.