Healthy Meals & Snacks for Low-Income Kids

After-school, summer nutrition and physical activity programs to improve children's health

From 2006 to 2009, the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) in Washington, worked with state and local agencies, providers of after-school and summer programs and anti-hunger advocates to expand the number of low-income children receiving healthy meals and snacks in such programs. FRAC also worked to ensure that federal agencies funding child nutrition programs met the needs of local sponsors and providers of such programs.

Key Results

  • From 2006 to 2009, the number of children participating in after-school snack programs grew by 16 percent nationwide, while the number participating in afterschool supper programs rose by 28 percent. FRAC staff reported that their organization was the main catalyst for the gains, resulting from these activities:
    • Developing and releasing a range of outreach materials to encourage state and local agencies and out-of-school-time providers to participate in federally funded nutrition programs.
    • Redesigning and publicizing FRAC's website to provide more resources and information to state and local agencies, providers of after-school and summer services and anti-hunger advocates.
    • Presenting at some 15 national, regional and state meetings of after-school and summer meal and snack providers and anti-hunger advocates.
    • Holding daylong leadership institutes twice a year from 2006 to 2009 in Washington for state and local anti-hunger organizations from 16 states.
    • Working with 11 target states (California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico and Texas) to increase participation in federally funded nutrition programs.
  • In 2008, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) adopted FRAC's recommendations to simplify requirements for participation in the USDA's afterschool supper program. The changes included making administrative rules more practical for schools.