Only a fraction of low-income New Jersey students are receiving afterschool meals, according to a new report from the Food Research & Action Center.
The Child and Adult Care Food Program provides federal funds to feed children snacks and dinners after school. FRAC’s first report on this critical child nutrition program found that just 4 percent of low-income students receiving free and reduced-price school lunch also received an afterschool supper.
If New Jersey achieved a 15 percent participation rate, the state would capture $2.9 million more in federal funds each year to feed hungry children, according to FRAC’s calculations.
New Jersey has made some progress, however, with the number of sites serving these meals rising to 318 in 2016 — a 25 percent increase since 2016.
The New Jersey Food for Thought Campaign, which NJAHC co-chairs, is working on helping communities increase access to this critical child nutrition.