In 2015, the Partnership set a goal to achieve an increase in total meals and Average Daily Participation by %5 by 2020.
Our Afterschool goal is measured by tracking Free and Reduced Price eligible students eating breakf in percent.

Penetration Rates

Monthly Statewide Afterschool Data 

The At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program

The At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program helps children get the nutritious meals they need in a safe, supervised location. For many children, this is their only opportunity to access a healthy meal after the school day ends. Through the At-Risk Afterschool Meal program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides reimbursements for snacks and meals served at afterschool programs offering enrichment or education programs under USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The program is available in locations where at least 50 percent of children are eligible for free and reduced-price meals. Afterschool care programs that are currently participating in afterschool snack programs can participate in the CACFP At-Risk Afterschool Supper program. 

Many afterschool programs already feed students, using money from their own budgets, because they recognize that for many students, lunch is a distant memory and they may not get an adequate healthy dinner at home. By participating in the At-Risk Afterschool Meal Program, organizations can use the money saved for additional programming, staff and outreach or to provide healthier meals to students. Additionally, evidence suggests that by providing meals, programs realize an increase in attendance and improvements in student behavior.

If you or someone you know is interested in connecting kids with free meals after the school day ends, please click here to see the required criteria.

Innovations in Afterschool Meals

Afterschool Meals 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 and our new handout offer recommendations for implementing this model in your schools.

 

Umbrella Model

Several USDA memos have paved the way for the umbrella model, which is most commonly used by schools to provide meals to students participating in a wide range of activities as well as those who choose not to participate in formal activities. As long as enrichment programming is available to all, meals can be offered freely to children and teens, including student athletes. In addition, while attendance records are required, children do not have to be enrolled in the afterschool program or even at the school. Meals may be served in a central location, like the cafeteria, or throughout the building wherever students participate in activities. This model may also be expanded to community-based sponsors. For example, multiple afterschool programs could operate or begin in a central location, like a library or recreation center, with programming and meals available to all. The umbrella model was pilot tested in schools across the country, and it boosted participation by over 50%. You can read more in our brief, CACFP Afterschool Meals Program Expansion with the Umbrella Model, and learn how you can implement it with our handout.

Afterschool FAQ

How do I know if I’m in an eligible area?

Your site is eligible if it is located in the attendance area of a public school where at least 50% of the students are eligible for free or reduced price meals under the National School Lunch Program. If you have questions about this, you can contact Kara Panowitz, Out of School Time Manager, at kpanowitz@strength.org or 443-423-0915.

How will this affect my bottom line?

Sites do not have financial responsibilities for the afterschool meals program. Once matched with a sponsor, that sponsors takes on administrative and fiscal responsibilities for the program on your behalf.

Are students allowed to take food home?

No, food must be consumed on site.

Where can children receive meals?

Schools, affiliated organizations like YMCAs and Boys and Girls Clubs, community organizations like Parks and Rec Centers, and faith-based organizations.

Do I have to prepare my own food?

No, we can match you with a sponsor who will prepare food for your program. You can choose to prepare your own food and directly receive federal reimbursements.

Can I participate in both summer meals and afterschool meals?

Yes, the USDA recently streamlined requirements for participating in both programs.