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 requried criteria.
Please contact us to learn more and get started serving free, healthy meals afterschool.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
Can I serve a snack and a supper?
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.
How do I get started?