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Office of P-20 Education Policy
Child Nutrition Program Administration
89 Washington Avenue, Room 375 EBA, Albany, NY 12234
Phone: (518) 473-8781 Fax: (518) 473-0018

School Food Service Directors/Managers
Frances N. O'Donnell, Coordinator
Friday, October 1, 2010
Eligibility of Expanded Learning Time Programs for Afterschool Snack Service in NSLP and CACFP

In response to recent inquiries, USDA has amended/clarified eligibility requirements for afterschool programs for the afterschool snack components of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).  In particular, they had been asked whether certain expanded day learning programs are eligible for afterschool snack service.

The afterschool snack components of the NSLP and CACFP were established in 1998 in the William F. Goodling Child Nutrition Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-336, 42 U.S.C. 1766 and 1766a).  They were created to support programs operating afterschool programs with educational and enrichment activities for children in the late afternoon or evening when they might otherwise be unsupervised and engage in risky behaviors.  Program regulations define afterschool care programs as those “providing organized care to enrolled school-age children after school hours for the purpose of care and supervision of children.” (7 CFR 210.2 and 226.17a(b)).  Recently, educational programs aimed at serving at-risk children have evolved to include schools operating expanded learning times longer than the traditional school day.  “Expanded learning time” is a common term used in the education arena to describe schools or school districts that add significantly more school time for academic and enrichment opportunities to improve student achievement.

To date, USDA's consideration of “afterschool” in implementing the afterschool snack components of the NSLP and CACFP had focused on the nature of the program offered by a participating school or other provider as distinct from a school program (e.g. relationship to the curriculum).  However, given the evolution of educational programs, USDA has decided that it is reasonable at this time to consider whether such programs may operate longer than the traditional school day as defined by applicable State or local laws and policies.

Therefore, a school operating longer than the traditional school day may be eligible for afterschool snack reimbursement through NSLP or CACFP, provided that it operates a school day that is at least one hour longer than the minimum number of school day hours required for the comparable grade levels by the local educational agency in which the school is located.  Thus, in determining an expanded learning program’s eligibility for reimbursement, a State agency should first use school day hour data from the particular school’s local educational agency (LEA) as the standard to determine the minimum number of school day hours required.  In LEAs in which all schools operate an expanded learning time program, or in single-school LEAs, the State’s average length of the school day or the average length of the school day of surrounding LEAs may be used to determine the standard minimum number of school day hours.

The clarification set forth in this memorandum for expanded learning time schools does not change the requirements for determining eligibility for traditional afterschool care programs.  State agencies must continue to make eligibility determinations for these programs based on whether such programs are afterschool care programs with an educational or enrichment purpose, in accordance with regulations and policy previously issued.

Finally, schools operating expanded learning time programs may also be eligible for afterschool supper reimbursement through CACFP, if they are located in one of the States currently authorized for afterschool supper reimbursement.

Based on the above, some schools previously denied participation in the snack program may now be eligible. Please contact your representative if your school may now be eligible.

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. 

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1)     mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
         Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
         1400 Independence Avenue, SW
         Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)     fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3)     email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


For Nondiscrimination Statement translations, click here.

Los demás programas de asistencia nutricional del FNS, las agencias estatales y locales, y sus beneficiarios secundarios, deben publicar el siguiente Aviso de No Discriminación:

De conformidad con la Ley Federal de Derechos Civiles y los reglamentos y políticas de derechos civiles del Departamento de Agricultura de los EE. UU. (USDA, por sus siglas en ingles), se prohíbe que el USDA, sus agencias, oficinas, empleados e instituciones que participan o administran programas del USDA discriminen sobre la base de raza, color, nacionalidad, sexo, discapacidad, edad, o en represalia o venganza por actividades previas de derechos civiles en algún programa o actividad realizados o financiados por el USDA.

Las personas con discapacidades que necesiten medios alternativos para la comunicación de la información del programa (por ejemplo, sistema Braille, letras grandes, cintas de audio, lenguaje de seas americano, etc.), deben ponerse en contacto con la agencia (estatal o local) en la que solicitaron los beneficios. Las personas sordas, con dificultades de audición o discapacidades del habla pueden comunicarse con el USDA por medio del Federal Relay Service [Servicio Federal de Retransmisión] al (800) 877-8339. Además, la información del programa se puede proporcionar en otros idiomas.

Para presentar una denuncia de discriminación, complete el Formulario de Denuncia de Discriminación del Programa del USDA, (AD-3027) que está disponible en linea en: y en cualquier oficina del USDA, o bien escriba una carta dirigida al USDA e incluya en la carta toda la información solicitada en el formulario. Para solicitar una copia del formulario de denuncia, llame al (866) 632-9992. Haga llegar su formulario lleno o carta al USDA por:

(1)     correo: U.S. Department of Agriculture
         Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
         1400 Independence Avenue, SW
         Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)     fax: (202) 690-7442; o

(3)     correo electró

Esta institución es un proveedor que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.