‘Super Snacks’ fly into Southwest

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Superintendent spearheads supplement light meals

After applying for a program last year that would give Southwest students the opportunity to have a ‘super snack’ before going home each day to help fill in hunger gaps, Tosha Tilford, superintendent of the Southwest school district, reported to the school board in January that the district was approved for the Missouri No Kid Hungry grant.

The district began serving the super snacks on Monday. The snacks are served in the classroom before students getting on the bus at the end of each school day, and work as follows:

• This snack is for anyone under the age of 18 and at no cost

• Buses will be held 10 minutes so the students can eat before getting on the bus

• Car riders will be allowed to be picked up by their parent/guardian at the regular time

• Elementary Principal Jeff Payne will notify parents that the buses could be running a few minutes later because of the program

The super snack initiative was spearheaded by Tilford to help ensure student bellies stay full on school nights, which, research shows helps support school performance.

Tilford said in October that the snack, which consists of foods like granola, string cheese and fruit, would serve as a supplement to provide nutritional value before students ever leave school, so that if they didn’t get supper, they would have some sustenance and nutrition to get them through until the next morning. The snack would also be beneficial to students with after-school activities, by providing them with a healthier alternative than a rushed drive-through trip to a local fast food restaurant in between activities.

“We’re looking at this as another resource to help meet hunger needs,” Tilford said.

As another initiative to keep bellies full and minds alert, Tilford is also working to obtain a grab-and-go-style breakfast for students, another component of the No Kid Hungry program.

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