Making a Difference in Our Community
Chances are when your kids get home from school they are hungry. Having snacks available that will help satisfy their hunger, as well as provide some of the nutrients they need is possible. Snacks don't have to be full of fat and sugar in order to be delicious. They can be full of nutrition and flavor.
With the day beginning early, usually by 7 am for most school age kids, and lunch being over before noon, the after school snack has become a forth meal for many kids. It may be a smaller meal, but the importance of it is not diminished because of the size of it. As a matter of fact, experts agree that after school snacks help with making sure that kids get all the nutrition they require to keep growing, give them the energy to play, do homework, take part in family activities, grow, and mature normally.
After school snacking is especially important if there are more than four hours between meals. Getting enough calories and nutrients to keep them feeling good, as well as performing well, is essential to not only the physical growth process, but also the mental stimulation and emotional health of children.
There are many types of after school snacks to choose from. The best snacks combine carbohydrates, such as fruit, cut-up veggies, or crackers; with a lean protein, such as a cheese stick, nuts, or peanut butter. With a combination that will satisfy hunger, as well as give necessary vitamins and minerals, the snack will be healthy and delicious.
Focus on Hope Outreach Services can provide nutritious snacks for children attending your After School Program or At-Risk Centers:
• After school programs and At-Risk Centers are located in a school attendance area where at least half of the children who attend the school are eligible for free and reduced-price school meals.
• Children in afterschool care and enrichment programs are eligible to participate in our after school care free meals program.
To be eligible an afterschool program must:
• Be organized primarily to provide care after school hours, on weekends and holidays during the school year.
• Be located in the attendance area of a school in which at least 50 percent of the enrolled students are certified as eligible for free or reduced-price meals.
• Provide educational or enrichment activities in an organized, structured, and supervised environment after the end of the school day, on weekends, or on holidays during the school year.
What qualifies as an educational or enrichment activity? Educational or enrichment activities include arts and crafts, homework assistance, life skills, and computer or remedial education. Competitive sports teams are not eligible. However, afterschool care programs that include a sports activity as part of their enrichment program may be eligible.
What are the licensing requirements for afterschool care programs? The afterschool care program must be licensed by the Department of Human Services, Office of Children and Adult Licensing, or be exempt from licensing requirements. Afterschool care programs exempt from child day care licensing must meet all state and local health and safety standards. At a minimum, documentation must include a fire safety inspection report and a sanitation report.
Who is eligible to receive afterschool snacks and suppers? All school-age children 18 or under at the start of the school year may receive a free snack and supper. If a student’s 19th birthday occurs during the school year, reimbursement may be claimed for that child through the remainder of the school year. Students with disabilities can receive a free snack regardless of age.