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The Power-Up Kids Sack food program is unique to Pueblo Cooperative Care Center, Pueblo County and the youth it serves. Power-Up Kidz Sacks provide a bag full of healthy snack items and nonperishable foods to children in the Pueblo County community. These children can take home and eat these items when school meal programs or day program meals are not available. Power-Up Kids Sacks are a product of Pueblo Cooperative Care Center and are distributed by Pueblo Cooperative Care Center. For effective community outreach, Pueblo Cooperative Care Center works closely with multiple alliance partner organizations to meet the needs of children during the summer months. Children between the ages of 2 to 14 were able to receive Power-Up Kidz Sacks in 2018.

Recipients of the Power-Up Kidz Sack received healthy and nutritious foods and snacks along with a new toothbrush to supplement their average daily nutritional intake and to improve oral hygiene. Items included assorted juices, peanut butter, macaroni and cheese dinners, assorted granola bars, variety cheese and crackers, cookies, applesauce cups, fruit snacks, soup, string cheese*, fruit and yogurt snacks*, bottled water and a pizza and beverage coupon from Little Caesar’s Pizza. Each Power-Up Kidz Sack came in a carry bag with donor acknowledgement on its face.

* These items were only available at the Pueblo Cooperative Care Center due to product refrigeration requirements.

Corry Higbee (Pueblo Cooperative Care Center) gives Nevaeh Valdez Power-Up Kidz Sack #2,250 for 2018

Corry Higbee (Pueblo Cooperative Care Center) gives Nevaeh Valdez Power-Up Kidz Sack #2,250 for 2018

Along with Nevaeh Valdez, Josiah, Heavenly and Isaac Oliva received Power-Up Kidz Sacks

Along with Nevaeh Valdez, Josiah, Heavenly and Isaac Oliva received Power-Up Kidz Sacks

In 2017, a key decision was made and 1,000 children were served by the Power-Up Kidz Sack program with unmet needs identified and remaining. As a result, in 2018 the decision was made to distribute 2,250 Power-Up Kidz Sacks, a 125% increase from the previous year. Research conducted by Pueblo Cooperative Care Center reflects that unmet needs in Pueblo County still exceed 7,200 children.

El Centro Del Quinto Sol Recreation CenterEl Centro Del Quinto Sol Recreation Center offers summer programs for children and youth up to the age of 18 which include the Learning Center, Activity Center, Gymnasium, Computer Lab, movie nights and a lot more. Jessica Plascencia, Recreation Coordinator advised Pueblo Cooperative Care Center that El Centro Del Quinto Sol provides services to over 1,700 children and youth each month. While Pueblo Cooperative Care Center could not meet that need this year, 1,200 Power-Up Kidz Sacks were distributed in the months of June, July and August without duplication, 400 each month.

Amanda Cesar, Recreation Supervisor for the City of Pueblo states “The El Centro team is excited to have this partnership with Pueblo Cooperative Care Center. We are thrilled to help provide the food to these children as they are in great need of nutritional resources.” El Centro Del Quinto Sol helped Pueblo Cooperative Care Center in the process by picking up bulk resources and having the Power-Up Kidz Sacks put together at their site.

Diane Logie, Library Manager with Nemesio PerezDiane Logie, Patrick Lucero Library Executive Director says that “the impact the Power-Up Kidz Sacks make here at Lucero is immeasurable. We have latch-key kids that are in the library all day, every day that we are open. Risley International Academy of Innovation offers hot lunches in June and July, but some of the kids may not have enough food for a dinner meal. These wonderful sacks provide nutritious snacks and good foods and can keep them fed for a number of days.”

Ms. Logie noted that “the Lucero Branch was excited to be asked by Corry Higbee, the Executive Director of Pueblo Cooperative Care Center to distribute bags at the Lucero branch for the months of June, July and August. “It is such a blessing to be included in the Power-Up Kidz Sack program as these sacks make a tremendous difference in the day-to-day lives of children.”

Ms. Logie said “when they gave us the Power-Up Kidz Sacks for the month of June, not only was I amazed, most of the kids were in complete shock and others in were in tears. They could not believe the Power-Up Kidz Sacks were free and had so many different snacks and types of foods included in the bags. They were especially happy that Little Caesar’s Pizza gave them a coupon for a slice of pizza with a drink, and they couldn’t wait to go cash in their coupon!” “Of course, they always ask if we had more sacks, but I would tell them we didn't but when we received some in the following month they would be able to have another one.” “Each one of these kids were very grateful, and we made certain they knew exactly where the snacks came from!” Ms. Logie said she wanted to thank the Bank of the San Juans, the E.M. Christmas Foundation, Little Caesar’s Pizza, Pueblo Bikers United, Pueblo Day Nursery Foundation, Southern Colorado Community Foundation and United Way for working with Pueblo Cooperative Care Center and providing funding for the Power-Up Kidz Sacks. “Thank you for keeping the kids in our community in your hearts and prayers, and most of all for feeding these precious little souls.”