ROCKFORD, Iowa - With a holiday break just around the corner, a North Iowa school district is doing what it can to prevent students in need from going hungry.
Rudd-Rockford-Marble Rock, along with Charles City, Osage and St. Ansgar, is one of over 120 school districts in rural Iowa participating in the expanding Power Snack program, which was started by Iowa Select Farms and the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation during the 2012-13 school year. The school hands out coupons to students to get discounted deli ham and a loaf of whole wheat bread from a food retailer, typically around the time when school is not in session.
Katie Litterer is the at-risk coordinator and special education teacher at the RRMR Elementary School, and notes that there is a growing need for this type of program.
"Families are trying to work and make ends meet, working a couple of jobs that may not be minimum wage jobs. And...it's just hard to make ends meet when you have to make the choice of whether you're gonna buy groceries or pay bills."
And so far, the response to the program, which the district has participated in since last year, has been overwhelmingly positive.
"It's been good, we have families that really appreciate it and the kids talk about it, and...it's nice."
Currently, around 32 students in the district participate in the program.
The school also offers a 'Backpack Buddies' program, where the school sends food items like cereal, peanut butter and juice boxes to families every week during the school year.
The foundation announced last week that they would expand the Power Snack program, providing over 23,000 children with nearly 840,000 meals.
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