The Afterschool Nutrition Programs operate through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), which allows schools, local government agencies, and private nonprofits to serve a meal and a snack to children after school, on weekends, and during school holidays. They also operate through the National School Lunch Program, which allows schools to provide a snack after school. Find out about reimbursement rates for meals and snacks.
Read the Report: Afterschool Suppers: A Snapshot of Participation
FRAC’s report measures how many children had access to afterschool suppers and snacks in October 2020. The Afterschool Supper Program served almost 1.5 million children on an average weekday in October 2020, an increased of more than 188,741 participants compared to October 2019. As they do every year, the Afterschool Nutrition Programs have played a vital role during the COVID-19 pandemic in providing children nutritious suppers and snacks. Advocates, policymakers, and program providers must use every tool available — including Child Nutrition Reauthorization, increased funding for afterschool programs, and the implementation of proven best practices — to make these programs the strongest, streamlined, and accessible version they can be moving forward.
- Over 1.4 million children participated on an average day in Afterschool Nutrition Programs, and increase of 86,900 participants in October 2019 from October 2018.
- Funding for afterschool meals became available nationwide through the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act, so there is much work to do to increase the number of children who participate.
- School-aged children have higher daily intake of fruits, vegetables, milk, and key nutrients like calcium, vitamin A, and folate on days they eat afterschool meals compared to days they do not.
- Offering afterschool meals can help draw children into educational and enrichment activities and programming after school.
- Afterschool Suppers and Snacks During COVID-19
- Strategies to Expand the Afterschool Nutrition ProgramsBuilding a stronger sustainable program, improved policies, and expanded partnerships with national, state, and local stakeholders are key strategies to increasing participation in the Afterschool Meal Program. Find out how to develop a more sustainable Afterschool Meal Program.
- Serving Afterschool Meals and Snacks in Rural CommunitiesThe Afterschool Nutrition Programs fill the hunger gap that exists after school for millions of low-income children in rural communities. These programs provide federal funding to afterschool programs operating in low-income areas to serve meals and snacks to children 18 and under after school, on weekends, and during school holidays. Learn more in our fact sheet: Rural Hunger in America: Afterschool Meals.