At-Risk Afterschool Meals

The At-Risk Afterschool Meal Program helps students get the nutritious meals they need in a safe, supervised location.  For many students, this is their only opportunity to access a healthy meal after the school day ends.

Organizations may participate in the at-risk afterschool meals component as an independent afterschool program, or as a site under a sponsor. To be eligible to participate in the at-risk afterschool meals component of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), an afterschool program must:

  • Be organized primarily to provide care for children after school or on the weekends, holidays or school vacations during the regular school day.
  • Provides organized regularly scheduled activities (i.e., in a structured and supervised environment).
  • Include education or enrichment activities.
  • Be located in an eligible attendance area of a public school (an elementary, middle school or high school) where at least 50 percent of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program.

Note: There is no requirement that all students receiving meals participate in the offered activities. Students who are part of school sports teams and clubs can receive afterschool snacks or meals as part of a broad, overarching educational or enrichment program, but the program cannot be limited to a sports team.
Many afterschool programs already feed students, using money from their own budgets, because they recognize that for many students, lunch is a distant memory and they may not get an adequate healthy dinner at home. By participating in the At-Risk Afterschool Meal Program, organizations can use the money saved for additional programming, staff and outreach or to provide healthier meals to students. Additionally, evidence suggests that by providing meals, programs realize an increase in attendance and improvements in student behavior.

Public, private nonprofit or for-profit (Title XX) organizations that operate an eligible afterschool care program may apply to serve afterschool snacks under the CACFP.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Memos
Links to key USDA memos on the At-Risk Afterschool Meals Component are provided below.