Five Highline schools now offering after-school meals
Bow Lake, Madrona, Mount View, and White Center Heights Elementary Schools and Chinook Middle School are now offering the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) After-School Meal Program.
The USDA program was expanded as part of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010, and is available to schools where 50 percent or more of the student body qualifies for free- or reduced-price meals and where there is a planned after-school program. There is no charge to participating students.
“Seventy percent of Highline students qualify for free- or reduced-price meals, so many of our families are not able to provide their children with a nutritionally-balanced meal at home,” said Chris Neal, director of Nutrition Services.
“This program helps students receive the balanced nutrition that is so important to their health, minds, and bodies," said Neal. "My hope is to expand the program to other schools in the near future."
The after-school meal program operates Monday through Thursday. Where formerly a snack with two items was served, now a full meal with five different items is provided. The meal includes an entrée with protein, a grain, milk, fruit, and a vegetable. Students must take three of the five items offered.
The program is being coordinated with after-school learning activities provided by Community Schools Collaboration (CSC). CSC provides activities such as homework support, recreation, and enrichment opportunities that support student success.