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Afterschool & Summer Meals

Childhood hunger reaches into every corner of our state. While many children are able to access nutritious meals through free and reduced lunch programs during the school day, they often go hungry after school and in the summer when fewer meals programs are operated. Afterschool and summer meals are a critical component of keeping children and youth all across our state full, healthy, and ready to learn.  

Research proves that feeding children’s bodies also helps to feed their minds and allows children and youth to learn better and retain more information when they aren’t focused on where their next meal will come from. Stand-alone meal sites without an activity or program often find they aren’t able to attract as many children. By offering high-quality programming and engaging activities at the same time as meals, providers not only can feed more kids but can also ensure that children and youth are feeding their minds too!

You Can Help - Become a Meals Provider or Sponsor

Afterschool and summer meals are a critical need that is often unavailable in many areas. You can help – become a provider! Meals can be served in school buildings, childcare centers, libraries, churches, and more.

During the school year, programs may apply for funding via the federal At-Risk Afterschool Meals component of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). In Washington, CACFP is administered through the Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction (OSPI).

During the summer, providers can continue serving much needed meals through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which is also administered by OSPI here in Washington. Feed Your Brain Grants fund summer programs in rural areas which give kids access to summer learning and summer food.

For more information, tips on becoming a meals provider or sponsor, advice on embedding meals service into high-quality programs, and eligibility, visit OSPI or click here.

Questions? Contact Us!

Please email Natalie Kahn, Afterschool and Summer Meals AmeriCorps VISTA, at nkahn@schoolsoutwashington.org if you want to learn more about afterschool or summer meals, if you have other strategies to increase participation in the program, or to share successes you’ve had with this program in your community.

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