New Report: Celebrating Ten Years of Afterschool Meals

Ten years ago this week, the Afterschool Meals Program become a permanent, nationwide option to nourish children outside of school hours. Thanks to the work countless sponsors, schools, afterschool programs, state agencies, and advocates, there has been incredible growth in this program: the number of afterschool suppers served in FY 2019 was more than 600 percent higher than in FY 2011, the first year of nationwide rollout. However, with only one afterschool supper served for every 17 free or reduced-price school lunches in FY 2019, there are still opportunities for growth. Ensuring access to afterschool meals will be all the more critical over the next ten years to support an equitable recovery to the economic devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

In honor of this milestone, Celebrating Ten Years of Afterschool Meals: Looking Back and Looking Ahead reviews the program’s history, details national and state data trends, highlights promising practices, and lays out recommendations to further enhance and expand access to this critical resource.

For a quick overview, see the companion micro-report or read this blog post.