USDA Snacks a Healthy Part of Your Afterschool Care Program!
Good nutrition is
essential for effective learning every day, all year long, in
school and afterschool. Here's how you can...
Combine Food and Activities After School: The
hours after school are a critical time when children and youth are
most at-risk of engaging in delinquent behavior. An afterschool
care program that serves snacks reimbursed through the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers children and youth
constructive activities and something to eat. It draws them into
supervised afterschool care programs that are safe, fun and filled
with learning opportunities. Afterschool snacks fill the gap
between the lunch they receive at school and supper, and help
children and youth receive the nutrition they need to learn, play
Program Requirements: To
be eligible to participate, your afterschool care program must be
located in a low-income area where 50 percent or more of the
children are eligible for free and reduced price school meals.
Additionally, you must offer educational or enrichment activities.
There are no federal licensing requirements to participate in USDA
afterschool snacks; however, afterschool care programs are
required to meet any State or local licensing requirements. If
there are no State or local requirements, programs must meet State
or local health and safety requirements.
Cash Reimbursement from USDA:
Your organization will be reimbursed at the highest level of
reimbursement ("free rate") which is currently 78
a snack per child per day. Through the reimbursement you receive
from USDA, you can free up dollars that your afterschool care
program can use for other activities.
Afterschool snacks can be served to all children and youth through
age 18 and must be offered at no charge. To be reimbursable, each
snack must include at least two of the following four items: a
serving of fluid milk; a serving of meat or meat alternate; a
serving of vegetable(s) or fruit(s) or full strength vegetable or
fruit juice; a serving of whole grain or enriched bread or cereal.
Examples of a reimbursable snack include string cheese and 100 percent
juice, or an apple and a carton of milk.
Your Responsibilities: You
will need to keep a roster or sign-in sheet for participating
children and youth. Additionally, you must record and report the
total number of snacks served each day, and document that the
snacks served met the USDA nutritional requirements for the
Program. You must then submit the number of snacks you are
claiming to the State agency, or your umbrella organization, on a
regular basis in order to receive payment from USDA.
How the Program Works: USDA
provides funds to State agencies—the State Department of
Education in most States—which administer the Child and Adult
Care Food Program (afterschool snacks) at the State level. State
agencies are then responsible for distributing payments to
afterschool care programs for snacks served.
To apply: Afterschool
care programs that wish to participate in USDA afterschool snacks
must apply through their State agency. Your State agency can
answer additional questions you have regarding participating in
USDA afterschool snacks.
That’s it. It’s simple. Make USDA snacks
a healthy part of your afterschool program. Contact your State