Thinking of Serving Afterschool Meals during the Holiday? Read this first.

With winter break rapidly approaching, many afterschool programs are wondering if they can serve Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) meals when their schools are closed. The answer is: YES!

With prior approval by Michigan Department of Education (MDE), meals may be served on holidays during the school year (which includes break periods such as winter and spring break) for full reimbursement. Furthermore, meal served during holiday or break periods can be served at any time during the day, again with approval from MDE.

While serving holiday meals, programs otherwise operate as they normally do, complete with their activities. Fun ideas could even include offering variations of holiday meals that comply with the meal patterns, such as lean turkey with a cranberry relish.

If you’re an afterschool program in Michigan and would like more information about serving meals on holidays or school breaks, contact Justin Rumenapp at jrumenapp@uwmich.org or Amanda Jaczkowski at ajaczkowski@uwmich.org for more details.

As many teachers, afterschool staffers and food service directors know, without these afterschool meals, far too many children face food insecurity. Winter break shouldn’t be a time of worry for these children, and continuing to operate afterschool programs during breaks is a great way to offer nutrition and keep at-risk children engaged in learning.

Justin Rumenapp is the Director of Michigan Hunger Solutions, an organization working to end hunger is the State of Michigan.