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To Meet the Need, Growth in Afterschool Meals Must Continue: In the five years since the At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program became a permanent and nationwide component of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), the number of suppers served annually has more than quadrupled. Despite this enormous growth, there is still a big gap: only one afterschool snack or meal is served for every ten school lunches going to kids in need across the country.   

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Parents’ Perspectives on Afterschool Meals
girl laughing with her friends eating her afterschool meal

Understanding the perspectives of parents sheds light on the need for (and interest in) afterschool meals as well as effective ways to promote the program.

No Kid Hungry conducted a national afterschool meals survey to learn more from low-income parents about their need for afterschool meals, interest in afterschool meals programs and effective ways to promote these programs. Parents indicated a strong need for afterschool meals: 59 percent of parents reported that they have tight household budgets, making it difficult to provide food after school is out, and 25 percent worry that their children do not have enough to eat between lunch and breakfast the following day. While most parents already expressed an interest in afterschool programs, 73 percent of parents said they would be even more interested in an afterschool program if it provided free healthy food. Parents wanted to receive information about afterschool programs through schools or other local channels.

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