Alabama Power volunteers get students snacking healthily

Alabama Power volunteers get students snacking healthily
Tuscaloosa APSO Coordinator Kelly Atchley, second from left, and Alabama Power Community Relations Manager Karen Burklew, far right, deliver healthy snacks to Benjamin Barnes YMCA in Tuscaloosa. (contributed)

Research shows that students who eat healthily are more likely to perform better in school. Alabama Power volunteers have taken the science to heart by helping provide wholesome snacks for students in after-school programs while also sharing information, in a fun way, to help them become healthier eaters.

The “Back-2-School Healthy Snack Break” initiative kicked off this school year. It was developed by members of the Alabama Power Service Organization (APSO) Western Division Chapter.

So far, more than 100 students have benefited from the initiative, which included delivering boxes of healthy snacks to after-school programs in four west Alabama counties.

In addition to delivering the snacks, chapter members created a short educational video they are sharing with students. In the video, two Alabama college students – food science major McKenzie Kimbrough, who is attending Alabama A&M University, and Madelyn Brooker, studying biology, and health and wellness, at the University of South Alabama – provide suggestions for choosing healthy snacks and simple recipes for preparing nutritious snacks at home. The video is being shown to the after-school students while they enjoy the donated snacks.

“We really had fun making the video,” said Community Relations Manager Diane Brooker, who co-hosted the production with fellow Community Relations Manager Danielle Kimbrough. Brooker is based in Demopolis and Kimbrough works in Tuscaloosa.

Indeed, it is Diane Brooker’s daughter who, in the video, provides simple recipes for making healthy snacks at home, and Danielle Kimbrough’s niece who shares advice about choosing healthy snacks at the grocery store.

Alabama Power Customer Service Representative Cindy Harcrow, right, delivers healthy snacks to the Fayette County Memorial Library. (contributed)

“We thought this was a creative way to help students understand the importance of healthy eating, which will serve them well for their whole lives,” Danielle Kimbrough said.

To date, after-school programs in Fayette, Perry, Tuscaloosa and Walker counties have participated in the Back-2-School Healthy Snack Break. Other APSO chapters around the state are considering adopting the program and expanding it to students in their service areas. The video is available on YouTube, so it is easily accessible to anyone.

“We are thankful for the contribution from the Alabama Power Service Organization because it’s so important that we encourage our students to lead healthy lifestyles,” said Emefa Butler, founder and executive director of the nonprofit youth organization C.H.O.I.C.E. in Uniontown. “Both the video and the snack bags were very well received by the students.”

“We’re always looking for new ways to help students and teachers,” said Susie Harris, president of APSO’s Western Division chapter. “We’re thrilled by the response to this initiative, and we hope to see it grow.”

Click here to learn more about APSO and how Alabama Power volunteers are devoting their personal time and resources to support Alabama communities.

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