Addressing Childhood Hunger

Addressing Childhood Hunger

Free/Reduced Lunch Program

  • Hunger-free Vermont Toolkit includes posters, sample letters, and tips to increase enrollment in school breakfast and lunch. While focused on Vermont, these materials offer strategies and samples that can be adapted by districts in other states.
  • The National School Lunch and Breakfast Program funds participating school meal programs by reimbursing schools for feeding children at low or no cost based on specific eligibility criteria. OSPI Child Nutrition Services administers these programs for Washington State and provides comprehensive information and resources.

Summer Meal Programs

In Washington State, OSPI administers the Summer Food Service Program funded by the USDA. The program serves children age 18 and under in low-income communities where at least 50% of children are eligible for free and reduced-price school meals. An overview of the program is provided in the Summer Food Service Program Reference Sheet, or call 1-866-EAT-MEAL.

School Snack and Dinner Programs

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

The USDA’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) provides all enrolled students in selected elementary schools with a free snack of fresh fruits and vegetables during the school day. The goals of the FFVP are to expand the variety of fruits and vegetables that children experience, increase fruit and vegetable consumption among children, and impact children’s present and future health. Elementary schools may apply annually and must meet criteria for selection, including having a very high percentage of students eligible for free and reduced meals.

After School Snack Program

The Afterschool Snack Program is a federally assisted snack program for public schools, nonprofit private schools, and residential child care institutions that participate in the National School Lunch Program. They must provide an afterschool care program that includes education or enrichment activities in a supervised environment.

At-Risk Afterschool Meal Program

The At-Risk Afterschool Meals component of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) offers federal funding to afterschool programs that serve a snack or meal (e.g., dinner programs), and provide educational or enrichment activities to children in low-income areas. Specific requirements do apply. 

School Pantry Programs

Students who rely on free and reduced school meals can go hungry during school breaks. The Foothills Food Bank Winter and Spring Break Pantry Program in rural Whatcom County is a school/community partnership to make sure no child goes hungry. Volunteers give participating families boxes of food that kids can prepare themselves.

How to Run a Food Drive

School food drives are a great way for kids to learn about food insecurity and contribute to their community. The University of Rhode Island has an excellent guide on planning a food drive, with tips for how to make it fun.

Food Access Resources

<< Previous: Food Education and Curriculum Resources | Directory Home | Next: Buying Local >>