Hudson River Museum
The Junior Docent Program at Hudson River Museum aims to enhance students’ appreciation of art and culture while enabling them to practice professional skills and work toward becoming museum employees. Nearly eighty high school students participate in the program, representing every public high school in Yonkers. Participants meet once a week, after school or on weekends, learning from curators, artists, scientists, historians, and other experts to further their leadership and college readiness skills. To nourish students and ensure they are ready to learn, the program includes a healthy snack, supported by the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).
The financial support enables us to provide nutritious snacks such as fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, nuts, and whole grains that would otherwise be expensive and out of our budget.
—Araya Henry, Manager of Youth and Family Programs, Hudson River Museum
Manager of Youth and Family Programs Araya Henry enrolled the program in CACFP to help offset the cost of healthy menu options; she explains, “The financial support enables us to provide nutritious snacks such as fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, nuts, and whole grains that would otherwise be expensive and out of our budget.” Because CACFP reimburses for healthy meals and snacks served after school, on weekends, and/or during school breaks, it was an especially good fit for a program that includes some weekend sessions.
Hudson River Museum purchases their snacks through wholesale distributors. They use cycle menus which include different snack options every day; cycle menus are repeated after a certain period, often monthly, helping programs plan. Henry explains, “[Using cycle menus] saves time and money, and allows us to offer a variety of menu selections, control food costs, keep track of regularly used snack items, and take advantage of seasonal fruits and vegetables.”
Henry speaks highly of the resources and support available through NYS CACFP, saying “CACFP has been very accommodating to us, and their guidelines are clear. They are also extremely responsive, and the relationship has been wonderful thus far.” She strongly encourages other afterschool and childcare providers to enroll: “Exposing students to nutritional foods will give them the life skill and practice to recognize the benefits of making healthy food choices, [and] will support your students’ well-being, boost their self-esteem, and promote a positive body image. We’ve seen these improvements in our program, and know you will, too!”