No Supper for Schoolchildren

December 2009

A year ago the federal government said it would give Vermont  funds to serve supper to children from low-income families at after-school programs. But because the state eliminated a key job, those kids will have to wait—indefinitely.

The new At-Risk Supper Program would join other federal programs, such as the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, that are administered by the state’s Child Nutrition Programs. These programs serve nutritious meals and snacks to eligible children in schools, daycares, and after-school programs—an important part of safeguarding the health of children whose families may suffer food insecurity.F1-FS0907

To participate in the At-Risk Supper Program schools or organizations must have:

  • at least half the children eligible for free or reduced-price lunches
  • a licensed after-school program
  • kitchen equipment and staff to prepare suppers

Federal money funds the whole program, from its state administrator to food, training, and school-level personnel. Over one-third of Vermont’s schools reported that 50 percent or more of their students—more than a third of the state’s schoolchildren—are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. But in an effort to reduce its work force, the state has cut the position of the person who would administer the supper program: the Child and Adult Care Food Program Coordinator at the Department of Education. Without sufficient personnel to develop the program’s application or train staff, Vermont kids are missing out on good, hot meals.

For more information:

Source: Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger, Vermont Department of Education

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