What OTHER meal programs should you be running?

You’ve heard of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and probably the School Breakfast Program (SBP), but have you heard of…

  • BIC (Breakfast in the Classroom)

  • BAB (Breakfast After the Bell)

  • AMS (Afterschool Meal Supplements)

  • CACFP (Supper program)?

All of these are additional programs you can run that will benefit your students and school. Below is a brief description of each program and potential benefits they can bring to your student population.

BIC (Breakfast in the Classroom) is run under the School Breakfast Program (SBP) requirements. This allows you to serve breakfast to your students (you guessed it!) in the classroom. The opportunity to serve students in the classroom helps capture more students who will eat breakfast. Common barriers to increasing participation for traditional breakfast before school are: late buses, parents having to drop students off at multiple schools or lack of knowledge that breakfast is even offered! The beauty of BIC is that is allows students to eat breakfast once they are already on campus (typically after 1st period). Oftentimes, parents are unaware that their student may receive a free breakfast if they qualify for free lunch. This is a great option to explore, especially if you have a high-needy population.

BAB (Breakfast After the Bell) is run under the School Breakfast Program (SBP) requirements as well. This allows you to serve breakfast mid-morning while students are already on campus. Typically scheduled after 2nd period (must be at least 2 hours before the first lunch period starts), students can come to a central location on campus and get breakfast or grab-and-go style meals to eat during a short break. This allows students who may arrive after morning breakfast, the opportunity to fuel up. Students who eat at BAB are still eligible to get a free meal for lunch if they are eligible for free meals. This is a great option for secondary schools.

AMS (Afterschool Meal Supplements) gives you the opportunity to serve a snack to your students after the school day ends. It is composed of a grain and a milk or fruit. There needs to be an academic enrichment component to it, like tutoring. Typically all students will be able to receive a snack for free. This must be served “after” the school day has ended, and your school must be at least 50% free and reduced.

CACFP (Supper Program) allows you to serve a full meal to students after the school day has ended. Like after-school snack, you must be 50% free and reduced to offer a supper program on campus. Students get a full meal (all five components) and must consume the meal on campus. This program can operate in high-need areas and provide free meals to students before they go home for the day.

Whatever program(s) you operate, know that you are fueling our students for success both in and out of the classroom. Making sure students have access to healthy foods throughout the school day (and after the school day) will ensure that they are receiving the nutrition they need no matter what the circumstances.

If you need help applying for additional federal meal programs, such as the ones listed above, contact us!

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