The At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program provides nutritious meals and snacks in a safe, supervised location. For many kids, this is their only chance to get a healthy meal after the school day ends.
The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 permanently authorized the At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program as part of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Through the At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides reimbursements for snacks and meals served by educational or enrichment programs in areas where at least 50 percent of students are eligible for free and reduced-price meals.
Many afterschool programs already feed students using their own funds because they recognize that children need healthy food to stay focused and active through the afternoon and into the evening. By participating in the At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program, organizations can use the money saved for additional programming or staff, conducting outreach, or improving meal quality. Additionally, programs that have added meals report an increase in attendance and improvements in student behavior.
To increase access to the At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program, organizations at the state and local level are:
- Increasing awareness through outreach campaigns
- Increasing the number of meal sites through outreach to potential sites and by building partnerships with existing afterschool programs
- Providing grants to facilitate program expansion and increase capacity
- Providing technical assistance to help programs get started or expand their reach
Afterschool Snacks & Meals History and Trends
In the five years since the At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program became a permanent and nationwide component of the CACFP, the number of suppers served annually has more than quadrupled. In Fiscal Year 2015, schools and other organizations served more than 390 million snacks and meals to children participating in afterschool activities. 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. In some states, implementation is so low that there are just one or two afterschool suppers served for every thousand subsidized lunches, suggesting a significant opportunity to reach more kids facing hunger. A new report from the Center for Best Practices examines the history and trends of this crucial program.
Afterschool Meals Brief Supper in the Classroom
Serving the afterschool meal in the classroom is an excellent way to ensure that all students have the opportunity to get needed nutrition at the end of the school day. When students eat together in the classroom, everyone has time for the meal before other activities begin or buses arrive. Innovation pilot tests also show that Supper in the Classroom has the potential to dramatically boost participation: the schools that implemented this serving model reached an average of 80 percent of all students, and each school served more suppers than lunches during the pilot period. This new report brief, Increasing CACFP Afterschool Meals with Supper the Classroom, provides the details of the innovation pilots as well as insights from other schools that implemented Supper in the Classroom. The report also offers recommendations for implementing this model in your schools.
Serving Maryland’s Children: The Afterschool Meal Program
This report was created to look at the implementation and early growth of the federally funded suppers in Maryland and to establish future goals for the state to achieve.
Providing full, nutritionally balanced meals demonstrably improves children’s health and well-being while also combatting childhood hunger and obesity. .
Created By: Maryland Hunger Solutions
The Importance of Afterschool and Summer Learning Programs in African-American and Latino CommunitiesThe Importance of Afterschool and Summer Learning Programs in African-American and Latino Communities
This issue brief looks closely at the impact of the recession on African-American and Latino communities and highlights the important role that afterschool and summer programs play in supporting youth and families in these communities.
Created By: Afterschool Alliance
Special Nutrition Programs Report CACFP At-Risk Afterschool Meals Best Practices, 2011
This report identifies practices pilot State agencies and sponsors used to implement and administer the at-risk afterschool meals component of CACFP, challenges they encountered, and solutions they developed.
Created by: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
Healthy Children, Healthy Lives: Barriers to Participation in the At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program in Washington StateHealthy Children, Healthy Lives: Barriers to Participation in the At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program in Washington State
This report examines the obstacles that current and potential nonprofit organizations at the sponsor level face in their effort to participate in the At-Risk Afterschool Meals program.
Created By: Children’s Alliance
Afterschool Supper Program: Oregon Case Study
The conclusion of this case study provides recommendations for improving and expanding the Supper. Program in Oregon.
Created By: Oregon Hunger Relief Task Force
Supper in the Classroom Handout
Serving an afterschool meal in the classroom is a proven way to increase access to the nutrition kids need to learn and grow after the school days ends. This handout offers clear support and tips for implementing this model in your schools, including strategies for overcoming teacher resistance and effective scheduling.
Three Meals a Day: A Win-Win-Win Full Afterschool Meals Guide for Schools
The Center for Best Practices partnered with the School Nutrition Foundation to learn from school nutrition directors who had implemented the CACFP Afterschool Meals Program in their districts. The information, tips, and ideas presented in this comprehensive guide are based on interviews conducted with ten school nutrition directors from across the country. This a perfect resource whether you’re just thinking of starting the Afterschool Meals Program or trying to improve your existing program.
Three Meals a Day: A Win-Win-Win Executive Summary
The Center for Best Practices partnered with the School Nutrition Foundation to learn from school nutrition directors who had implemented the Child and Adult Care Food Program’s At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program in their districts. Through interviews with ten school nutrition directors from across the country, we gleaned valuable information, tips, and ideas that will help you to replicate their success.
Afterschool Meals Promotion - Sample Text for Umbrella Model
The sample text found on the following pages can be used to promote the availability of afterschool meals to all students at your school. Feel free to modify it to meet the needs of your school and the details of your afterschool meal program.
Afterschool Meals Brief Umbrella Model
CACFP Afterschool Meals Program Expansion with the Umbrella Model
The Umbrella Model shows the potential to increase participation in the Afterschool Meals Program by more than 50 percent over historical totals at middle and high schools that promote the availability of meals to all students.
A Mayor's Checklist
Mayors are in a strong position to help end childhood hunger in their communities. Mayors can help raise awareness about the issue and about available programs; convene stakeholders across sectors to tackle the problem; and ensure that schools, city agencies and community organizations are implementing effective programs that expand access to nutritious food for kids. Use this checklist to learn about the actions that you can take as a mayor to end childhood hunger.
No Kid Hungry: A State Legislator's Checklist
State legislators can play a pivotal role in addressing childhood hunger in their state. They can use their influence to raise awareness about the issue; pass legislation that supports program expansion and efficiency; encourage legislative studies related to addressing childhood hunger; and work with state agencies to ensure that effective policies are in place. This checklist outlines a range of options that legislators can take to address child hunger.
Schools as Nutrition HubsSchools can play a critical role in getting children the nutrition they need to learn and play. Programs like school breakfast, afterschool meals and summer mealshelp feed kids during the school year and in the summertime. Learn why schools are an ideal location for these programs.Created by: Share Our Strength
There are many ways a governor can make ending childhood hunger a priority. This checklist outlines a host of options that a governor can take to end childhood hunger.
Created By: Share Our Strength
At-Risk Afterschool Meal Guide Washington State
This handbook provides an introduction to the “At-Risk” Afterschool Meal program and outlines the benefits of participation. It includes information and resources for starting a new program. It also highlights stories from successful Afterschool Meal programs to serve as examples of the range of possibilities that exist.
Created By: The Children’s Alliance
Hunger Free Heartland Afterschool Nutrition Toolkit
This toolkit was designed to help afterschool programs (especially those in low-income areas) to provide nutritious snacks and meals. In particular, it aims to make federal funding more accessible, and to promote best practices and sustainable program designs.
Created by: Hunger Free Heartland
FRAC's Afterschool Meal Guide
This web-based report explains the new USDA afterschool meal program, provides resources and tips to administer the program, and shares strategies to conduct outreach for the program.
Created By: Food Research and Action Center
USDA At-Risk Afterschool Meals Handbook
This handbook addresses CACFP requirements that apply to at-risk afterschool care centers.
Created By: U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
USDA At-Risk Afterschool Meals
At-Risk Afterschool Meals in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP): Be a Champion to End Childhood Hunger in Your Community
Created By: USDA Food and Nutrition Service
USDA memo on aggregate data sharing
Read more about the USDA memo on aggregate data sharing to learn how you can work with your state agency to access up-to-date aggregate data, including average daily participation, number of meals served, site and sponsor information, aggregate free and reduced-price eligibility percentages and aggregate enrollment data.
Created by: Share Our Strength
Clarifying Regulations for the Afterschool Meals Program Transitioning from SFSP to CACFPThe USDA issued a memo in 2013 aimed at clarifying regulations and streamlining the transition from the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) to the At-Risk Afterschool Meals (afterschool meals program) component of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The following explains the guidance and opportunities presented by this memo.Created By: Share Our Strength
Transitioning from the SFSP to CACFP At-risk Afterschool Meals
This memo highlights flexibilities available to Summer Food Service Program sponsors transitioning into the At-risk Afterschool Meals component of the Child and Adult Care Food Program during the school year.
Created by: The United States Department of Agriculture
Athletic Programs and Afterschool Meal Service-Fact SheetThis paper provides some explanation and direction for States Agencies and School Food Authorities to use in discussions on providing afterschool meals and snacks to students participating in athletic programs.Created by: USDA
Clarifying Regulations for the At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program: Streamlining Participation for School Food AuthoritiesClarifying Regulations for the At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program: Streamlining Participation for School Food Authorities
The purpose of this memorandum is to streamline the requirements for participation of school food authorities (SFAs) in the at-risk afterschool meals component of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).
Created by: Share Our Strength
Supper Makes Cents for Schools - Finances of Afterschool Meals Flyer
This flyer can assist with outreach to schools by providing a high-level overview of the Afterschool Meals Program, its benefits, and how it can be financially sustainable. The resource was updated to reflect the current reimbursement rates, more recent cost data from schools, and new tips.
Created by Share Our Strength
Supper Makes Cents for Sponsors- Afterschool Meals Flyer
This resource can help sponsors currently offering snacks understand the benefits of converting to full meals – including the much higher reimbursement rate offered for meals. It also provides answers to frequently asked questions about converting to meals.
Created by Share Our Strength
Afterschool Meal Flyer
If you’re talking to schools and organizations about becoming and afterschool meals site, be sure to take this new promotional Afterschool Meals Flyer.
Created by: Share Our Strength
Calling All Afterschool Programs: Sign Up to Serve Afterschool MEALS!
A memo highlighting the steps and benefits of implementing the new federal nutrition option of funded afterschool meals.
Created by: Children’s Alliance
Top 10 Reasons to Convert NSLP Snack Programs to CACFP Afterschool Meal Programs
A list highlighting the social and economic benefits of implementing an afterschool meal program.
Created By: Children’s Alliance
Afterschool Meals Program Webinar transcript
Meeting notes, highlights, innovations and next steps discussed during the SOS Afterschool Meals Webinar. Dated Sep 27 2012.
Superintendent Letter Baltimore City
A letter from Chief Executive Officer Baltimore City Public Schools urging school system to participate in the At-Risk Afterschool Supper Program.
Maryland: At-Risk Afterschool Supper Program
This one page document by The Maryland State Department of Education School and Community Nutrition Programs Branch gives a brief overview of the The At-Risk Afterschool Supper Program in Maryland.
Created By: Maryland State Department of Education and MD Hunger Solutions