The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) reimburses afterschool programs for the snacks they serve to children 18 and under. The school food service department administers the snack service for the afterschool program.
To qualify for NSLP, afterschool programs must be school sponsored. This does not mean that the afterschool program needs to be directly operated by the school or located on school grounds. It is up to each individual school to determine what afterschool programs are school sponsored. For example, in some communities schools sponsor NSLP snacks for area YMCAs and Boys and Girls Clubs.
To participate in NSLP, afterschool providers must offer educational or enrichment activities. Because of this requirement, athletic programs that compete in leagues and do not have other activities do not qualify for the snack program.
The federal reimbursement rate for afterschool snacks is adjusted annually to keep up with the cost of inflation. To find out how much afterschool programs can receive per snack this year, check out the current reimbursement rates for NSLP. If the afterschool program is located in a low-income area or serves predominantly low-income children, the program receives the highest rate of reimbursement (also known as the “free rate”) for all of the snacks served.
All snacks served through NSLP must meet USDA nutritional guidelines and include at least two of the following:
A snack can be as simple as carrot sticks with low-fat dressing and a carton of low-fat milk or apple slices and peanut butter.
The state child nutrition agency can provide afterschool programs with additional information about the nutritional guidelines and help them plan menus that meet the USDA requirements. Also, check out FRAC’s Model Afterschool Snacks and Suppers menus in this section.
To begin serving snacks at a school sponsored afterschool program, contact the school food service director.