No Child Should Go to Bed Hungry
For some kids, lunch at school may be the last healthy meal of the day. In a 2017 No Kid Hungry survey, almost 3 out of 5 low-income parents said it was difficult to afford food for their kids to eat after school meals.
Teachers across the country tell us how important those meals are to their students who might not get enough to eat at home, providing not just nutrition, but a sense of security and stability.
We also know that these after school meals are effective. Research on after-school programs and meals overwhelmingly shows positive results:
Test scores improve: A study from the Harvard Family Research Project found that students who participated in high-quality afterschool programs for two years showed significant gains in standardized math test scores when compared to their peers who did not participate.
Attendance and graduation rates go up: A study of kids in Los Angeles public schools showed that 70% of kids who participated in afterschool programs had exemplary attendance records (as compared to just 56% of students who did not participate). And in Chicago, kids enrolled in after-school meals programs and summer programs graduated at a rate of 95% - more than double the overall rate for the school system.
Educators support after-school meals programs: “This is an essential program in our district,” said Donna Martin, a school nutrition director for Burke County Public Schools in Georgia. “The kids are willing to stay after school for tutoring because of the hot meal. The graduation rate has increased.”