After-School Meals Program

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1 After-School Meals Program The After-School Meals Program, a new Child & Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) offered in Minnesota, provides federal cost reimbursement for nutritious meals served to low-income children in after-school enrichment programs. After-school programs have found that meals and snacks attract new children to these programs, and help them stay active and engaged in activities while their parents are still at work. Healthy meals and snacks provided through the program play an important role in preventing childhood hunger, while ensuring children get the balanced diet they need to learn and grow.

2 Why Combine Meals and Activities After-School? A SAFE PLACE FOR KIDS AFTER-SCHOOL: When school is out and parents are still at work, children need a safe place to be with their friends, with structured activities, and supportive adults. After-school programs that serve meals and snacks draw children and teenagers into constructive activities that are safe, fun, and filled with opportunities for learning. The food gives them the nutrition they need to learn and grow. FIGHT CHILD HUNGER: The After-School Meals program fights hunger during a time when many parents face economic uncertainty. Afterschool meals provide a stable source of nutritious food for children whose parents work evening hours. BETTER OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHILDREN: The program can begin to address the opportunity gap for many low income students by supporting after-school care and improving after school programming quality. STRONGER ATTENDANCE: Offering meals after-school often increases attendance in after school programs. INCREASED REVENUE FOR PROGRAMS: Reimbursement for meals served in after-school programs can be an important revenue source for sponsors. Funds received for serving meals allows programs to provide higher quality foods; some school programs have used this revenue to employ food service staff for longer hours giving them higher wages. Others have used this revenue to pay for staff during meal times, freeing up funds from other sources to increase enrollment and program quality. 2 After-School Meal Program

3 Which After-School Programs Can Participate? CACFP provides federal reimbursement for meals and snacks served in afterschool programs that meet the following requirements: Are located at sites where at least 50% of the children in the school attendance area are eligible for free and reduced price school meals. Offer educational or enrichment activities, after the regular school day ends or on weekends and holidays, during times of the year when school is in session. Meet licensing, health, or safety codes that are required by state or local law. Serve nutritionally balanced meals and/or snacks that meet USDA s nutrition standards, with foods like milk, meat, vegetables, fruit, and bread. 3 After-School Meal Program

4 Who is Eligible for After-School Meals? CHILDREN: Reimbursable meals and snacks can be served to children, including teenagers age 18 or under, during the school year. There are no application forms for parents or guardians to fill out. All after-school meals and snacks are served in group settings, at no cost to the child or to the child s parents or guardians. ORGANIZATIONS: Public/private/charter schools, as well as not-for-profit and for-profit organizations, that meet the CACFP requirements listed above are eligible to serve meals during after-school programs. To see if your area is eligible to serve after-school meals through CACFP, CLICK HERE. If you are a public school, CLICK HERE for a list of schools eligible for this program. Reimbursement and Budgeting CACFP provides cash payments for each after-school meal served, giving afterschool programs a steady source of funds. Funding is tied to the number of children who are served, so the reimbursement will increase as participation in your program increases. These funds often free up resources that can be used for other activities. Minnesota After-School Meal Program Reimbursement Rates Meal Type Reimbursement Rate Per Meal Supper $ 2.93 Snack $ After-School Meal Program

5 Budget Careful financial management is key to the success of an after school program. Here are a few tips for keeping track of your expenses and setting your budget. PROJECTED REIMBURSEMENT The first step to building a sound budget is estimating your reimbursement. For example, a site that serves a meal to 20 children each day after school: Reimbursements are solely determined with meals times rates, so a selfsponsored site with 20 projected children will be reimbursed $2.93 per supper served. In a month s time, the program will have served a total of 400 meals (20 children X 5 days a week X 4 weeks), provided each child participated in the After-School Meals program every day. Their projected reimbursement rate will be $1,172 for the month (400 meals X $2.93 reimbursement/meal). PROJECTED BUDGET Approximate budget for Supper served to 20 children for one month. Revenue Amount Estimated reimbursement for 400 meals served $ 1,172 Expense Food costs for 400 meals $1.50/meal $ 600 Meal service operating $21.00/day for 20 days per month $ 420 Program administration 12% of revenue $ 137 Totals Operating Margin (+/-) $ 15 Organizations serving after-school meals for CACFP reimbursement need to: Keep records of menus and receipts for the purchase of food supplies for all snacks and suppers served Record menus, menu production, and receipts for the purchase of food supplies for all snacks an suppers that meet the nutrition requirements Record and report the total number of meals and snacks served each day 5 After-School Meal Program

6 Nutrition Requirements Serving healthy, balanced meals and snacks is a basis of all Child Nutrition programs. After-School Meals should be designed to follow the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and be appealing to children. Meals can be served either hot or cold, depending upon the available kitchen facilities, staff capabilities and preferences of the children. In order for a sponsor to receive reimbursement for a meal from CACFP, the meal needs to follow the USDA meal pattern requirements. A reimbursable meal includes: AFTER-SCHOOL MEAL: 8 ounces of milk 3/4 cup vegetables and/or fruit (two types or more) 1 serving of grains/breads 2 ounces of a meat or meat alternate. AFTER-SCHOOL SNACK (choose 2): 8 ounces of milk 3/4 cup vegetables and/or fruit 1 serving of grains/breads 1 ounce of a meat or meat alternate. 6 After-School Meal Program

7 How Do I Sign Up? A simple application process exists to sign up for the After-School Meals Program. This program is administered by the Minnesota Department of Education s Food & Nutrition Services (MDE FNS). Please read the APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS and mail all completed forms to: Food and Nutrition Service Minnesota Department of Education 1500 Highway 36 West Roseville, MN For additional support or questions, please call the After-School Meals program administrators at (651) or toll-free at (800) You can also at 7 After-School Meal Program

8 FAQ Is there funding available to start serving after-school meals, or to convert my after-school snack program to a full meal program? Yes! Hunger-Free Minnesota is now accepting applications for grants intended to help with costs associated with starting or growing an after-school meals program. These grant awards are made possible by a generous contribution from UnitedHealth Group. CLICK HERE to learn more. What if I don t have a kitchen to prepare after-school meals, or if I don t have the capacity to be a CACFP After-School Meals sponsor? We have partnered with CKC Good Food, a local meal service provider that provides healthy foods to schools across Minnesota, to enable after-school programs to serve meals through CACFP. CKC Good Food s menus are certified by the USDA and the Minnesota Department of Education, and comply with all CACFP after-school meal regulations. CKC Good Food s team has in-depth knowledge of CACFP nutrition requirements and application/reimbursement procedures, and they can partner with you to make serving after-school meals a seamless process. To learn more, contact CKC Good Food at (651) How old can a child be to participate in the After-School Meal Program? Children ages 18 years of age and younger are eligible for reimbursed meals. If a child turns 19 during the school year, reimbursement may be claimed for meals served to this child for the rest of the school year. Younger children who are also present can be served an After-School Meal. They need not be enrolled in the Afterschool program in order to eat the meal. Does the site have to serve meals or snacks every day? No. Some programs operate on a different weekly schedule, such as twice weekly and at some sites only once a week, i.e. a Friday after-school program that offers tutoring and basketball. As long as the program has an enrichment component, they could qualify to serve After-School Meals. 8 After-School Meal Program

9 FAQ (continued) Do we have to serve hot meals? No, you do not have to serve hot meals. Several programs serve cold evening meals. These often contain of a sandwich, fruit, vegetable and milk. The type of meal you serve depends upon the resources accessible at your site and staff you have available. A cold meal can be just as nutritious and delicious as a hot one. When can our site serve After-School Meals and Snacks? The meal can be served at any time during your after school program. Many sites choose to serve the after-school meal at the beginning of the program and the snack later in the evening. Make sure to talk to your program specialist about scheduling your meals and snacks in a way that meets program requirements and works with your after-school activities. If I serve After-School Meals, will kids skip dinner? For some children, the after-school meal may be their only opportunity to eat dinner, but for others it may simply fill their stomachs until they get home. In any case, the child s appetite is the best guideline to follow when providing additional food at home. It is important to let families know that you will be serving a meal in your after school program so that they can make the best informed choice for their kids and family. 9 After-School Meal Program

10 Thank You After-School Meals Initiative Partners

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