Afterschool Snacks in the
National School Lunch Program
Snack Payments to States and School Food Authorities
1) What are "Afterschool Snacks"?
The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) offers cash
reimbursement to help schools serve snacks to children after their
regular school day ends. Afterschool snacks give children a
nutritional boost and draw them into supervised activities that
are safe, fun and filled with learning opportunities.
2) How can children benefit from the snack service?
Afterschool snacks help ensure that children receive the
nutrition they need to learn, play and grow. Organized,
structured, and supervised programs that provide snacks allow
children to think and behave better, and help them make the grade!
3) Is my afterschool care program eligible?
In order for a site to participate, your school district must
run the NSLP and sponsor or operate the afterschool care program.
Additionally the school district must sponsor or operate an
afterschool care program which provides children with regularly
scheduled educational or enrichment activities in a supervised
environment. Contact your State education agency for further
information regarding program eligibility.
4) What type of snacks must be served in my program?
In order to be reimbursed, the snacks must contain at least two
different components of the following four: a serving of
fat-free (unflavored or flavored) or low-fat fluid
milk (unflavored); 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.
5) How much money will my school get for serving snacks?
Snacks served in afterschool care programs that are "area
eligible" (see Question 6) will be reimbursed at the free
rate, regardless of an individual studentís eligibility
for free or reduced price lunches. Snacks served in
afterschool care programs that are not area eligible will be
reimbursed at the free, reduced price and paid rate depending on
each individualís eligibility for free or reduced price meals.
are based on the
National Average Payments (NAP),
are adjusted annually.
6) How is "area eligible" defined?
An afterschool care program site is "area eligible"
if it is located at a school or in the attendance area of a school
where at least 50 percent of the enrolled children are eligible
for free or reduced price meals. For example, if a high school
with less than 50 percent free or reduced price school enrollment
is located in the attendance area of a middle school that has 50
percent or more of the enrolled children eligible for free or
reduced price meals, then the afterschool care program located in
the high school would be area eligible.
7) If my site is not area eligible, must I take applications
for individual students to determine whether they are eligible for
free or reduced price benefits?
Since your school district is already participating in the NSLP,
it will have free and reduced price applications on file. The
eligibility determinations for those applications would apply for
both the lunch and snack service under the NSLP. If an approved
free or reduced price application is not on file, the school
district will earn the paid rate of reimbursement for snacks
served to that student unless the student makes application and is
approved for free or reduced price benefits.
8) How do I apply for afterschool snacks?
Contact the school food service director in your school
district. You may also want to contact your State education agency
for more information. State agency contacts are listed in our
website at http://www.fns.usda.gov/cndContacts/StateDirectory.htm
9) When do the reimbursements begin?
As soon as the State agency approves your application,
reimbursement will be earned for snacks served. Reimbursement will
be provided to participating programs who serve afterschool snacks
to children and youth through the age of 18.
10) What records must be maintained?
Your school food service staff will provide you with specific
information on the reporting and recordkeeping requirements. If you are area eligible, you must record
and report the total number of snacks you serve each day. If you
are not area eligible, you must record and report the number of
snacks served each day by category of reimbursement (i.e., whether
they are served free, at a reduced price or paid). You will also
be required to maintain documentation of compliance with the meal
11) If I am not eligible under NSLP, what can I do?
If you are not eligible under the requirements for the NSLP,
you may still qualify for snack reimbursement under the Child and
Adult Care Food Program. To find out, contact your State agency.
12) Who administers the program?
The NSLP is administered on the Federal level by the Food and
Nutrition Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of
Agriculture. Within individual States, the program is administered
by a State agency, in most cases through offices in the State
Department of Education. At the local level, the program is
administered by the school/school district.