After School Care Snack Program – FAQ’s for Residential Child Care Institutions and Boarding Schools
The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) now offers cash reimbursement to help RCCIs and boarding schools serve snacks to children after the regular school day ends. After school snacks give children a nutritional boost and draw them into supervised activities that are safe, fun and filled with learning opportunities.
After school snacks help ensure that children receive the nutrition they need to learn, play and grow. Organized, structured, and supervised programs that provide snacks allow children to think and behave better, and help them make the grade!
In order for a site to participate, your facility must run the NSLP. Additionally the after school care program must provide children with regularly scheduled educational or enrichment activities in a supervised environment. Contact your NSLP Program Specialist or the Arizona Department of Education (ADE), Child Nutrition Programs (602-542-8700) for further information regarding program eligibility.
In order to be reimbursed, the snacks must contain at least two different components of the following four: a serving of fluid milk; a serving of meat or meat alternate; a serving of vegetable(s) or fruit(s) or full strength vegetable or fruit juice; a serving of whole grain or enriched bread and/or cereal. See attached Snack Meal Pattern.
Snacks served in after school care programs that are “area eligible” (see Question 6) will be reimbursed at the free rate, regardless of an individual student’s eligibility for free or reduced price lunches. Snacks served in after school care programs that are not area eligible will be reimbursed at the free, reduced price and paid rate depending on each individual’s eligibility for free or reduced price meals. The reimbursement rates are adjusted annually. For the most recent list of reimbursement rates visit USDA’s Afterschool Snack website at http://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/rates-reimbursement. The rates of reimbursement for Alaska and Hawaii are higher.
An after school care program site is “area eligible” if it is located at an RCCI or boarding school or located in the attendance area of a public school where at least 50 percent of the enrolled children are eligible for free or reduced price meals. For example, if a boarding school or RCCI with less than 50 percent free or reduced price enrollment is located in the attendance area of a public school that has at least 50 percent or more of the enrolled children eligible for free or reduced price meals, then the after school care program located in the school area would be area eligible.
If my site is not area eligible, must I take applications for individual children to determine whether they are eligible for free or reduced price benefits?
Since your facility is already participating in the NSLP, it will have free and reduced price applications on file for day students. The eligibility determinations for those applications would apply for both the lunch and snack service under the NSLP. If an approved free or reduced price application is not on file, the facility will earn the paid rate of reimbursement for snacks served to that child unless the child’s family completes an application and is approved for free or reduced price benefits. If all residential students are free in your facility, the Statement of Facts or Master List document will verify that all snacks will be reimbursed at the free rate for those children.
Contact your NSLP Program Specialist or ADE (602-542-8700) for application information. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service home page at http://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/afterschool-snacks may also be of help in providing additional information regarding the snack program.
As soon as ADE approves your application, reimbursement will be earned for snacks served. Your program may also be eligible for retroactive reimbursements if you met snack program requirements and maintained accurate records of the snacks served back to October 1, 2001. Contact ADE to determine if you are eligible to receive retroactive reimbursements.
You will need to maintain a roster or sign-in sheet for participating children. Additionally, if you are not area eligible, you must record and report the number of snacks served each day by category of reimbursement (i.e., whether they are served free, at a reduced price or paid). You will also be required to maintain documentation of compliance with the meal pattern.
The NSLP is administered on the Federal level by the Food and Nutrition Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Within Arizona, the program is administered by the Arizona Department of Education. At the local level, the program is administered by the RCCI or boarding school facility.