Wayne County, NY
Lyons Central School District (Lyons CSD) has provided afterschool nutrition for their students for almost a decade. Their efforts began with afterschool snacks, offered as part of the Wayne County Community Action Program’s Advantage After School Program at Lyons Elementary School. When Lyons CSD Food Service Director Vince Beltrone learned the school could serve complete afterschool meals through CACFP, he welcomed the opportunity to provide an added nutritional boost. Beltrone explains, “A lot of our students are from food insecure households. Serving afterschool meals helps ensure our kids get all the nutrition they need.”
A lot of our students are from food insecure households. Serving afterschool meals helps ensure our kids get all the nutrition they need.
—Vince Beltrone, Food Service Manager, Lyons CSD
The district now sponsors two afterschool meals sites, the Advantage After School program in their elementary school and a 21st Century Community Learning Center program in their middle/high school. Cafeteria staff at each school assist in preparing any menu items that need to be cooked ahead of time, then one staff member prepares and serves the meals at each site. The programs use a six-week cycle menu, which they modify by season to provide additional hot meals in the winter and cold meals in the warmer months. The school sources their ingredients from the same suppliers they use for their other school meals programs, prioritizing foods from within New York State.
Lyons CSD also participates in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) to further expand access to quality nutrition. Beltrone explains, “When CEP became available to us I jumped at the chance to provide this program to the school community. Now our kids get free breakfast, lunch, afterschool meals, and summer meals.” He considers these programs a win-win for everyone involved: students receive free healthy meals, and the reimbursement funding helps support the school’s thriving year-round nutrition programs.