At-Risk, Afterschool Program
Click here for the brochure “Missouri’s At-Risk Afterschool Program.”
Eligible public and private organizations may participate in the At-Risk Afterschool Program through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The CACFP provides funding for snacks and suppers in organized afterschool programs. The food program not only benefits children by providing needed nutrition, but has also been shown to help reduce or prevent children's involvement in juvenile crime or other high-risk behaviors.
Eligible facilities must serve meals and snacks meeting program requirements; maintain accurate and complete records; and train center personnel in program requirements and operations.
To be eligible for reimbursement under the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), afterschool programs must meet the following criteria:
- The afterschool program must be operated by a public or private, not-for-profit organization or - if a private, for-profit organization - must have at least 25 percent of enrolled children's care paid through Title XX funds (25 percent of enrolled children or licensed capacity, whichever is less).
- The purpose of the program must be to provide care in afterschool settings. This does not mean that the program must offer formal, all-day child care (although many of these programs would be eligible to participate).
- The afterschool program must include education or enrichment activities in an organized, structured, and supervised environment. Any extracurricular activities such as the school choir, debate team, drama society, etc., can qualify to participate under this provision only if their basic purpose is to provide afterschool care. Under no circumstances can athletic teams that limit membership based on ability be approved for participation. However, some sports groups may qualify. The key would be that the sports programs are open to all and do not limit membership for reasons other than space, security, or licensing requirements.
Times of Operation
This program applies to snacks and suppers served to children after their school day has ended, not to those served before or during the school day. Afterschool programs may claim reimbursement for snacks and suppers served on weekends, holidays, and other vacation periods during the regular school year. Programs may not claim reimbursement through this provision when school is not in session (i.e., when school is closed for the summer).
Site Eligibility Requirements
- Any afterschool program operated by a public or private organization must be located in a low-income ("at-risk") area to be eligible for reimbursement for snacks and/or suppers. To qualify as low-income, the site must be located in an area served by a school where at least 50 percent of the enrolled children are certified as eligible to receive free or reduced price school lunches.
- The afterschool program must be licensed by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Bureau of Child Care, or be exempt from licensing requirements. Exempt organizations must, however, submit documentation to show that minimum health and safety standards are being met. At a minimum, documentation must include a fire safety inspection report and a sanitation report.
- Family Child Care Homes do not qualify for the at-risk afterschool snack and supper program.
Afterschool programs wishing to participate under this provision must provide sufficient information to enable the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to determine whether or not the type of program is eligible, and if so, whether or not it qualifies for free reimbursement for afterschool snacks and suppers based on area eligibility.
To qualify as a reimbursable meal, each participant must be served, the minimum quantity of food as outlined, by category per meal type, on the At-Risk Afterschool Food Chart. This is referred to as the meal pattern requirement. Menus must contain all the food components in the proper quantity.
The Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs is designed by the USDA to help you buy the right amount of food and help you determine the specific contribution each food makes toward the meal pattern requirements. It also has yield data for more than 1,200 food items.
Reporting and Recordkeeping
The intent is to keep any recordkeeping burden to the minimum necessary to ensure that CACFP reimbursement is properly paid. At a minimum, afterschool programs participating in the At-Risk Afterschool Program must maintain the following records:
- Documentation that the program site is located in an area served by a school in which at least 50 percent of the enrolled students are certified eligible for free or reduced price meals;
- A daily count of the total number of snacks and/or suppers served to participating children;
- Documentation of individual children's attendance on a daily basis; and
- Menus and receipts for the purchase of food and supplies for each snack and/or supper served.