The number of children participating in free after-school meals continues to accelerate, yet still falls far short of the number of children who could use the service from schools, according to a new analysis by the Food Research and Action Center.
The federal National School Lunch Program and the Child and Adult Care Food Program expanded in 2010 to allow schools to provide free after-school food to children in poverty. This includes snacks, suppers, and weekend meals. In the last year participation rose 11 percent, serving 1.2 million children on an average day in October 2017. That’s twice the average growth from the prior year, though it still represents only 1 in 19 of day-time school-meal participants.
A version of this article appeared in the October 24, 2018 edition of Education Week as School Nutrition