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United States Department of Agriculture

Commonly known as the Afterschool Meals Program, the At-Risk Afterschool Meals component of the CACFP allows educational or enrichment programs in eligible low-income areas to serve a meal and/or snack each day to kids and teens ages 18 and under.

Since the meal must be served after the bell on school days, the most common meal served through this program is supper. As a result, the program is sometimes known simply as "the supper program."

However, programs that operate on weekends, holidays, or other breaks during the school year can provide any one meal as well as a snack. No enrollment or eligibility information is required from children or families, and all meals and snacks are reimbursed at the highest rate. However, programs may require enrollment in the enrichment activity, and they may charge a reasonable fee for it.

The Afterschool Meals Program is open to schools, community-based non-profit organizations, and certain for-profit childcare providers. Each participating location must be within the attendance boundary of a public elementary, middle, or high school where at least half of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.

The Afterschool Meals Program does not provide reimbursements when school is not in session except in areas with a year-round school calendar. Most participating organizations can transition to one of the summer nutrition programs. For additional information on operating the Afterschool Meals Program, you can read the USDA’s At-Risk Afterschool Meals Handbook.

The Outside-School-Hours Care component of the CACFP is an option for afterschool programs that do not qualify as area-eligible based on the 50 percent threshold for in-boundary schools.

However, meals are reimbursable only for children ages 12 and under. In addition, programs must collect enrollment and eligibility documentation, and meals are reimbursed according to each child’s eligibility status.

Although Outside-School-Hours Care programs may not operate on weekends only, they can operate on weekends in addition to weekdays, and they are eligible to serve up to two meals and one snack daily.