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5 Food Assistance Programs for Kids in School

Children eating school lunch

Proper nutrition is an important component of anyone’s life, but it’s especially important for children— healthy and consistent nourishment has a significant impact on their adolescence and journey into adulthood. The more kids eat delicious and nutritious foods, the more they will develop a healthy appetite. That said, it’s hard to get great-tasting foods that kids will like that also have all the important nutrients they need. Such foods are typically more expensive, and preparing a meal for your little one each day can quickly add up.
Luckily, there are food assistance programs for kids in school. These programs recognize the importance of a healthy breakfast, and the necessity of a healthy meal for future generations.

We’ve listed some of these food assistance programs along with a brief description of each:
  1. Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
CACFP plays a huge role in improving the quality of day care and making it affordable. The program also provides nutritious meals and snacks to 4.2 million children each day. The program also provides after school programs with snacks and a light dinner. Contact your state agency to apply or to look into what facilities participate in your area.
  1. Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP)
To help combat childhood obesity, this program supplies fresh vegetables and fruits. They work to introduce nourishing produce into the lives of children who otherwise may not have the means to eat as healthy as they should. FFVP provides these fruits and vegetables to selected low-income elementary schools nationwide. Truly wanting to introduce healthy habits into children’s lives, FFVP has developed various partnerships with public and private state agencies.
  1. National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
The most popular food assistance program for kids in school, the NSLP gives school districts and independent schools cash subsidies and USDA Foods for each meal. Schools that are affiliated with the NSLP must serve lunches that meet federal requirements. This means that each meal must be nutritionally balanced and low-cost or free. Schools can also be reimbursed for afterschool snacks.
  1. School Breakfast Program (SBP)
Similar to the National School Lunch Program, the SBP must serve a nutritional breakfast that meets federal requirements. They also give cash subsidies to the schools that take part. Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it’s important that children are given that opportunity to eat a hearty breakfast. According to Kellogg’s, only 77% of young children, 50% of middle schoolers, and 36% of high schoolers eat breakfast. SBP works to raise this statistic.
  1. Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
The SFSP is here to fill the hunger gap. Once the school year ends and summer begins, so many kids are left to search for nutritious meals again. With the help of the USDA, the largest federal resource available, local sponsors can combine a feeding program with a summer activity program.