Celebrating Ten Years of Afterschool Meals: Looking Back and Looking Ahead

Policy & Legislation
Program Overview
Research & Data
Best for
Advocates
Federal Officials
State Officials

The Afterschool Meals Program is turning ten! This report and companion micro-report explores the history, charts its growth, and offers recommendations for its future.

Overview

On December 13, 2010, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act was signed into law. With that, afterschool meals became permanently available to nourish kids nationwide and support the programs that provide them with enrichment after the school day ends. Ten years later, there is much to celebrate along with many lessons learned to help chart a brighter future for this program and the children it serves. In the current context of the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout, these lessons are all the more critical to ensure an equitable recovery. With millions of children facing hunger and unprecedented levels of food insecurity and unemployment, afterschool meals will be more important than ever over the next ten years. With the future wellbeing of our nation’s children in mind, this report reviews the history of afterschool meals, explores national and state data trends, describes promising strategies to maximize access, and identifies ways to strengthen and expand the program.

 

Full Report Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Program Overview and History
    • Figure 1: Legislative History of Afterschool Snacks and Meals
    • How It Works
  3. A Decade of Growth: Afterschool Meals Data and Trends
    • National Data Trends
      • ​​​​​​​Figure 2: The Pilot Years (2000-2010): Total Afterschool Suppers & Snacks Served Annually
      • Figure 3: The First Ten Years (2011-2019): Total Afterschool Suppers & Snacks Served Annually
      • Figure 4: Afterschool Suppers & Snacks as a Percentage of Free/Reduced-Price School Lunches
    • State Data Trends
  4. Promising Models and Strategies
    • ​​​​​​​Umbrella Model
    • Supper in the Classroom
    • Strategies and Tactics for Successful Programs
  5. Beyond Afterschool Hours: Non-Traditional Service Times & COVID-19 Response
  6. Advancing Equity through Afterschool Meals
  7. Opportunities to Expand and Enhance Afterschool Meals
    • ​​​​​​​Federal Policy
    • State and Local Policy
      Research
  8. Conclusion
  9. Appendices
    • State Data Tables
      • ​​​​​​​CACFP At-Risk Afterschool Suppers as a Percentage of NSLP Free or Reduced-Price Lunches with State Rank, 2013-2019
      • Total Afterschool Suppers & Snacks as a Percentage of NSLP Free or Reduced-Price Lunches with State Rank, 2013-2019
      • CACFP At-Risk Afterschool Suppers Served Annually, 2013-2019
      • CACFP At-Risk Afterschool Snacks Served Annually, 2013-2019
      • NSLP Free or Reduced-Price Afterschool Snacks Served Annually, 2013-2019
    • State Data Charts
    • Thank You
    • References