National Landscape: Afterschool Meals

Through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP At-Risk) or National School Lunch Program (NSLP), schools and community organizations can serve meals or snacks so students can get the nutrition they need once the school day ends

Too many kids struggle with having enough to eat between lunch and breakfast the next morning. Afterschool programs can serve meals and snacks to give students the nutrition they need once the school day ends.

The most effective afterschool meal programs in schools provide an opportunity for all students to receive meals, not just those participating in select afterschool activities or programming. These school-wide programs serve suppers to children in the classroom right after the bell rings while teachers provide homework help or other enrichment activities, or encourage students to go to a central location on campus after school to eat a meal before or during their afterschool activities. Bringing awareness to families and schools — while providing technical assistance for implementation — can help maximize the program and reach more kids in need.

 

 

The reach of afterschool meals and snacks is low compared to school breakfast and school lunch. This is primarily due to application challenges, area eligibility constraints and afterschool meals being a relatively new option.

 

 

Meal rate is measured by the percent of suppers and afterschool snacks as a ratio of free and reduced-price meal eligibility. The rate reflects the number of afterschool suppers and snacks served compared with the number of meals served if every free and reduced-price eligible student received one afterschool meal or snack on school days.

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