As schools plan for the upcoming school year, many are seeking to maximize nutrition for students during and beyond the school day. The At-Risk Afterschool Snack/Supper component of the NYS Department of Health’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides an opportunity to serve complete meals to students in enrichment programs after school, on weekends, and/or during school holidays throughout the regular school year. Many schools currently offer afterschool snacks through the National School Lunch Program; schools that want to provide a complete supper meal would need to participate in CACFP.
Key things to know about CACFP’s At-Risk Afterschool Snack/Supper component:
- During the 2021-2022 school year, programs in all areas of the state are able to qualify. Typically, CACFP At-Risk Afterschool Snack/Supper has an area eligibility requirement and is only available to programs within the enrollment area of a school where 50% or more of the students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. This area eligibility requirement is waived through June 30, 2022.
- All creditable meals are reimbursed at the “free” rate of $3.66 per meal, regardless of students’ individual eligibility for free or reduced-price school meals.
- To qualify, programs must offer organized, supervised, regularly scheduled enrichment activities. Examples include homework help, drama club, arts and crafts, 21st Century Community Learning Center programs, Empire State After School Programs, or Advantage After School Programs. Competitive athletics cannot fulfil the enrichment activity requirement; however, schools can offer meals to student athletes if there is another activity available to them. For example, some schools offer homework help before sports practice. For the 2021-2022 school year, activities may be virtual or take-home if needed and approved.
- Schools can serve meals at some afterschool programs, and snacks at others. For example, an SFA may choose to pilot afterschool meals at one program or in one school building, then transition other programs from snacks to meals over time.
- Schools can apply for CACFP at any time of year, even after the start of the school year, or when enrichment programs are already underway.
- To apply, contact the New York State Department of Health:
- Call: (518) 402-7400
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject line “Outreach Coordinator.”
Visit AfterschoolMealsNY.org for additional information.