by Danielle Wagner
CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) Eating healthy isn't cheap, sometimes making it a difficult option, especially for non-profits relying on donations.
There's a new initiative between the Cedar Rapids Boys and Girls Club and a Los Angeles based supplement company.
The Cedar Rapids Boys and Girls Club serves 300 hundred school-age children. Each afternoon, the students arrive at one of four sites and eat a snack.
"For us, we rely a lot on donated items for after school snacks and while the cookies are great and they're fun and they're treats and we enjoy giving those to the kids because not all of our kids would get cookies at home. there's a concern if they have those cookies everyday or if they have brownies everyday, that's not helping them get anything balanced or nutritional," said Boys and Girls Club Development Coordinator Ainsley Hogan.
But thanks to a new partnership between the Boys and Girls Club and the company Visalus Sciences, the kids will soon be drinking a healthier afternoon snack.
"We know obesity is a real problem. As abundant as food is in the U.S., good nutrition is difficult to do. This is a very inexpensive way to get to kids food in an abundant fashion," said William Nissen.
Visalus Midwest Regional Director William Nissen said one drink packet is just 90 calories and contains 26 vitamins and minerals. To get all of those nutrients, he said it would cost more than $100 at the grocery store.
"But it tastes good and that's a key thing for the kids. It's gotta taste good. So they can drink this like a milkshake," said Nissen.
Visalus is challenging the community to get involved to provide this new snack as part of a meal for meal match.
"So for every meal that's donated, Visalus will match one meal on top of it so it doubles the donation," said Nissen.
To make a food donation, go to www.feedkidscr.com.
Nissen said each donation made on the website goes directly to the Cedar Rapids Boys and Girls Club.
The goal is to get enough donations for the kids to take some home on the weekends. Depending on donations, the snack should be available within the next month.
The Boys and Girls Club provides after school programs for kids for just $12 a year. Students get help with homework, they get access to a computer and they learn about leadership and other character development skills.
Reporter: Danielle Wagner