A significant number of children missed out on nutritious suppers and snacks offered by the Afterschool Nutrition Programs, according to FRAC’s latest report, Afterschool Suppers: A Snapshot of Participation – October 2021 and October 2022.
During the pandemic, participation in afterschool suppers remained relatively stable, with participation slightly increasing in October 2020 and 2021. In October 2022, participation dropped for the first time since the program became available nationwide.
2022 marked the end of the pandemic waivers that addressed the operational challenges created by the public health emergency and allowed all communities to offer afterschool suppers. 5,000 fewer afterschool sites served suppers and/or snacks. Many afterschool programs and meal sponsors continued to struggle with staffing shortages and increased food prices. Many afterschool programs have either closed or had to limit capacity during the pandemic and have not been able to fully recover.
Prior to the pandemic, a growing number of students were participating in afterschool meals each year. This increase in participation was plateauing even before the pandemic, highlighting the need to redouble efforts to increase participation.
Find key findings and policy and program recommendations in FRAC’s new report.