You’ve heard about free school lunches and breakfasts, but how about school suppers? In California, dinners are now being served to students at almost 200 schools.
These California schools are joining a new federally-funded effort to provide three meals a day to children from low-income families who also attend after-school programs across the state.
When Congress passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act near the end of 2010, it allowed after-school programs to receive federal funding for supper at the same rate provided for free and reduced-price school lunches. To be eligible, the after-school program must have an educational component, such as homework tutoring or a class on health and nutrition, and at least half of students served must qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
San Diego Unified is rolling out its supper program and is currently serving dinner to about 1,650 students, which will rise to about 2,100 in March, said Gary Petill, director of Food Nutrition Services.