While more low-income youth are eating healthy snacks and suppers to fuel learning in afterschool enrichment programs, there is still considerable potential for growth, according to the Food Research and Action Center’s (FRAC) annual report, “Afterschool Suppers: A Snapshot of Participation.” In October 2018, nearly 94,000 NY students ate afterschool meals through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), a 2.4% increase from October 2017; still, for every 100 children who ate free or reduced-price school lunch, only 6.6 ate an afterschool meal. If NY had met FRAC’s modest benchmark of reaching 15 out of every 100 low-income children with afterschool meals, programs in our state would have better nourished an additional 118,982 youth, and local program sponsors could have drawn down an additional $7.7 million in federal reimbursement.
Most NY afterschool programs serve snacks instead of complete meals; of the nearly 281,000 NY students who received some type of afterschool nutrition in October 2018, almost two-thirds received snacks through CACFP or the National School Lunch Program. Switching from snacks to meals benefits youth and programs; meals provide more substantial nutrition, and are reimbursed at nearly four times the reimbursement rate for snacks. Our CACFP Afterschool Meals Guide provides additional information about meal requirements, eligibility, reimbursement processes, and more.