Fostering Health Equity Through The Out-of-School Time Meal Programs

The out-of-school time (OST) meal programs provide healthy meals and snacks to children when school is out, and when implemented effectively, the programs can be a tool to improve health equity within communities. Policies and program changes that center equity and support the expansion and utilization of OST meal programs are critical to the health and wellness of those most impacted by hunger and food insecurity. By leaning into community-led conversations, stakeholders like state agencies and program providers that administer the OST meal programs can improve nutrition access and foster health equity in their communities.

This brief follows the experience of the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE), the administering state agency for the Child Nutrition Programs, and the Louisiana Partnership for Children and Families (LPCF), a state-wide advocacy organization, as they developed and implemented a health equity framework in Louisiana OST meal programs.