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SPOTLIGHT 

A Healthier After School Food Option: The Supper Program

by Amy Adkins

Many thanks to Student Nutrition Services, Custodian Services, Principals and our ExCEL Site Coordinators that supported and implemented a successful launch of the After School Supper Program. This program is a critical component of SFUSD’s goal of ensuring that students have access to nutritious food.  While ExCEL After School Programs has always offered a snack, this “Super Snack” helps to fill the gap between lunch and dinner that students often experience.  We want every student to fully participate in all that our after school programs have to offer and by providing a more substantial and nutritious meal, students can fully benefit from their educational and enrichment activities. Since this meal is served by Student Nutrition staff, there has been the added bonus of students eating in the cafeteria and after school program staff not having to be responsible for food distribution.

Similar to the lunch program, supper meals are freshly prepared and offer healthy proteins, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and milk. The Supper program is in no way intended to take away from family dinners. However, many children arrive home very hungry (school lunch can be as early as 11 am!) and reach for high calorie snack foods. This program is funded through the Federal Child & Adult Care Food Program. Meals are prepared daily by Revolutions Foods and Student Nutrition employees. At Glenn Park Elementary, one of the first roll out sites, ExCEL Site Coordinator Susan Tramontana shared that the transition from snack to ‘super snack’ has been a huge success, “Our students like having more food choice during after school.”  As one student explained, “I like having a ‘second lunch.’ I’m not so hungry during after school.  I really like having milk.” Glen Park parents have also welcomed the new meal option, “I love the fact that my child has healthy options during after school.  Because of more choices and larger portions, she is not ravished with hunger when we get home from school.  It gives me more time to get settled at home and our evening meal.”

Last Spring 10 After School Programs participated in the launch of this exciting initiative, serving over 1100 students daily. Participating sites also served as learning hubs, offering feedback on logistics and menu selections.

Below is a list of sites that participated in the roll out during the Spring 2014 Semester.

  • High Schools: Balboa, Mission, Marshall
  • Middle Schools: Marina, Hoover, Roosevelt, Aptos
  • Elementary Schools: Glen Park, Gordon J. Lau, Bryant

Sixteen more sites began service during the second week of this school year and they include:

  • High Schools: Burton, Wallenberg, ISA, O’Connell, Lincoln
  • Middle School: Denman
  • Elementary Schools: Monroe, Sutro, Spring Valley, Rosa Parks, Leonard R. Flynn, Charles Drew, Bret Harte, Redding, Daniel Webster, and Jean Parker.

This After School Food Program will serve a total of 32 schools by fall 2014 with more sites planned for 2015.

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  Student, Family and Community Support DepartmentSan Francisco Unified School District