This week CPPP released Afterschool Meals: Keep Students Fueled with Free Meals after Classes, a new fact sheet to help school administrators, nutrition directors, and parents better understand the benefits of the Afterschool Meals Program (also known as “CACFP At-Risk”). With this program, schools can provide a free meal and/or a snack to kids involved in afterschool enrichment programs like tutoring, music and sports. Since it is a relatively new program in Texas that school officials don’t know much about, many Texas schools that could qualify are not using the Afterschool Meals Program yet.
Some of the benefits of the Afterschool Meals Program include:
- Helps to keep kids healthy, focused, and ready to learn
- Increased participation in afterschool programs
- Option to serve both a meal and a snack (if the program at least 2 hours long)
- Helps to support the school nutrition department
- Meals are free to students and schools are reimbursed at the highest rate
School districts that have already implemented After School Meals find that parents are big supporters. “Parents are thankful that we are able to offer an afterschool meal to their student! Most students eat lunch anywhere from 10:30 am – 1:00 pm, so they are quite hungry when after-school activities start. A student’s day starts early, and our after-school feeding programs accommodate for their optimal nutritional needs,” said Anneliese Tanner, who directs Austin ISD’s Nutrition and Food Services.
The fact sheet provides information on how schools can qualify for the Afterschool Meals Program and how they can enroll, as well as recommendations from Texas school districts currently using the program.
Check out CPPP’s Afterschool Meals: Keep Students Fueled with Free Meals after Classes to see how your school could qualify and enroll in the program. For more information, contact Rachel Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512.320.0222 x.110.
Rachel Cooper, Senior Health and Wellness Policy Analyst, and Julia Von Alexander, Health and Wellness Policy Intern, contributed to this post.