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Afterschool Snack Program (ASP)

School Food Authorities (SFAs) can receive reimbursement through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) for snacks served to children through age 18. The intent is to use snacks as an incentive for children to participate in programs organized to provide after school care that include education or enrichment activities known to help reduce or prevent children's involvement in juvenile crime or other high risk behavior. The snacks may now also be served during the school day to the full school enrollment in extended day schools.

If an eligible after school program operates in a school in which at least 50 percent of the enrolled children are eligible for free or reduced price meals, the school will receive reimbursement at the free rate for all snacks served. Schools operating snack programs in non-needy areas (less than 50 percent of the children are eligible for free or reduced priced meals) are also eligible to participate in the snack program, although they would have to count and claim snacks by reimbursement category for free, reduced price and paid snacks.

The availability of snacks can frequently be the catalyst in a school's decision to develop an after school care program which can help promote the common goal of improving education and social achievement by providing healthy activities for children, especially adolescents.

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Extended Day/Expanded Learning Time Schools

Schools that operate a school day that is at least one hour longer than the minimum number of school day hours required for the comparable grade levels may upon approval from the State Education Department (SED) serve snacks during the school day. Some schools have lengthened their school day to add additional time for academic and enrichment opportunities to improve student achievement. This additional time is considered part of the required school day for all enrolled students.

Schools that receive SED approval to provide snacks during the school day must adhere to all regulations/requirements.

It is suggested that the snack be served in the afternoon toward the end of the school day, but can be served any time after the lunch meal service. Snacks in the Afterschool Care Program cannot be served in the morning. In addition, the snack must be consumed at school.

Oversight Requirements

In the NSLP, each snack program must be reviewed by the SFA twice per year (section 210.9(c)(7)). The SFA must conduct the first review during the first four weeks that the school is in operation each school year. The review must assess each site's compliance with counting and claiming procedures and the snack meal pattern. A prototype review form that you may use, but are not required to use, is found under More Information. We will review the eligibility of the snack program and the supporting snack menus, production records and attendance records as part of our administrative monitoring review of the NSLP.


SFAs opting to participate in the snack component of the NSLP must complete the subsection at the bottom of Section II of the New York State Child Nutrition Program New School Food Authority Application. Fill out separate Section II pages for each school in the SFA where After School Snack or Extended Day Snack will be served. Be sure that the snack program falls within the guidelines for participation.

Reimbursement Claims

Once the snack program is approved, the option to claim snacks will appear as it does for breakfast and/or lunch so you can file your claim online. If you still file paper claims you can request forms from the SED reimbursement unit. To file all program claims online, you may obtain a password from the CNMS website by clicking on Forms, then print out the Password Application and fax the completed form to our office. As with all other Child Nutrition programs, a claim for snacks served must be submitted within 60 days of the claiming month or the claim will not be paid. Keep in mind that for the one time exception, lunch and snack are considered the same program. You will receive only one, one-time exception for both programs.

Existing Programs

If your SFA previously received approval to claim snacks and you are not adding new Snack programs to sites, completion and submittal of the SFA's annual renewal completes the renewal process for the current school year.

Eligible Programs

In order to qualify for reimbursement for snacks, an after school care program must meet the following criteria:

  • The program must be administered by an SFA operating the NSLP. All buildings under the SFA are eligible to provide snack service under the NSLP.
  • The purpose of the program must be to provide care in an after school setting and must include regularly scheduled, structured and supervised activities.
  • The program must include educational or enrichment activities. Any extracurricular activities can qualify under this provision as long as their basic purpose is to provide after school care. Examples of these activities may include the school choir, debate team, or drama society, if after school care is being provided.
  • After school care programs that are designed to accommodate special needs or that have other limiting factors may be eligible to participate.
  • Programs that include supervised athletic activity along with educational or enrichment activities may participate, provided the athletic activity is open to all and does not limit membership for reasons other than space or security considerations.
  • The after school program must be operated by the SFA and not some other organization.
  • The school program can not start until after the end of the school day unless it has been granted approval by the SED to participate in the Extended Day/Expanded Learning Time provision. For example, if the required school day ends at 3:00 pm, the after school program must start after 3:00 pm.
  • The SFA must retain final administrative and management responsibility for the program.
  • The SFA for the school must enter into the agreement with the State Education Department and must assume full responsibility for meeting all program requirements, although the SFA may arrange with another organization, such as a PTA, to operate the after school program.
  • SFAs that claim reimbursement for lunches and/or breakfasts served during the summer months when operating a summer school, which is an integral part of the curriculum or an extension of the local educational program, may also claim reimbursement for snacks served to children in after school care programs during this period.
  • Residential Child Care Institutions (RCCIs) with nonresidential care components that offer after school education and enrichment programs may participate.
  • The U.S. Department of Education's 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CLC) grants may switch from claiming snacks under the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) to the NSLP.

Ineligible Programs

  • Interscholastic sports or other organized athletic programs/teams/leagues unless the program is open to all students and the basic purpose is after school care.
  • Head Start Programs, because they are not after school care programs. Snacks may be served to these children only after their regular school hours.

Eligible Sites

  • The site must meet State or local health and safety standards.
  • The site and the after school program must be administered by the SFA.

Ineligible Sites

  • SFAs participating only in the Special Milk Program are not eligible.
  • Nonprofit sites that receive vended snacks from an SFA.

Ineligible Snack Times in Traditional Schools

  • Snacks that are served before or during the child's school day may not be claimed for reimbursement unless SED has approved the school as one with an extended day/expanded learning time. A child's eligibility begins when his or her school day ends, not necessarily when school ends in the building. Therefore, a half-day kindergarten student in an after school care program may be served snacks while older students are still in session.
  • Snacks served on weekends, holidays or during vacations may not be claimed.


  • SFAs may claim reimbursement for one snack per child per day for children through age 18. However, if a student's 19th birthday occurs during the school year, they may be claimed for the remainder of the school year. Reimbursement may also be claimed for individuals, regardless of age, who are determined by the State Education Department to be mentally or physically disabled and who participate in after school care programs.
  • Sites located in areas served by a school in which at least 50 percent of the enrolled children are certified eligible for free or reduced price meals receive the free rate of reimbursement for each snack served. The snacks must be served to all children eligible for snacks at no charge.
  • Sites in areas served by a school in which less than 50 percent of the enrolled children are certified eligible for free or reduced price meals must count snacks and claim reimbursement by type. The charge for a reduced price snack may not exceed $.15. Children eligible for free snacks may not be charged.
  • In some instances a middle school, junior high school or high school may be eligible to receive the free rate of reimbursement for each snack served based on elementary school data. To determine if your secondary schools meet the qualifications, contact your Child Nutrition representative.

Snack Meal Pattern Requirement

Snacks served must consist of at least two different components, in at least the minimum portion requirements, as set forth in 7 CFR sections 210.10(n) and 210.10a(j):

Snack (supplement)
Select 2 out of the 4 components  Ages 1-2 Ages 3-5 Ages 6-18
Milk* 1/2 cup 1/2 cup 1 cup
Juice/Fruit/Vegetable 1/2 cup 1/2 cup 3/4 cup
Meat/Meat Alternate 1/2 ounce 1/2 ounce 1 ounce
Bread/Bread Alternate 1/2 slice 1/2 slice 1 slice
   Or Dry Cereal 1/4 cup 1/3 cup 3/4 cup
   Or Hot Cereal 1/4 cup 1/4 cup 1/2 cup

*Only 1% milk (called lowfat), fat free or skim milk, lactose (fat free or 1%), cultured buttermilk (fat free or 1%), or flavored milk (fat free or 1%) made from these types of fluid which meet State or local standards may be served. All milk must be fat free or 1%.

  • There is no offer versus serve option for snack. The child must be served two full components such as milk and fruit or cheese and crackers.
  • Snacks comprised of two beverages or two fruit/vegetables are not eligible for reimbursement.
  • Required minimum portion sizes for children ages 13-18 are the same as for children ages 6-12. It is recommended, but not required, that schools offer larger portions for older children (13-18) based on their greater food energy requirements.
  • Bread alternates include muffins, crackers, pastas and pretzels. Dessert foods such as cookies, doughnuts and cakes are considered bread alternates provided they are served no more than twice a week.

Snack Suggestions

  • orange juice and graham crackers w/peanut butter
  • watermelon chunks and milk
  • yogurt and banana
  • cereal and milk
  • blueberry muffin and milk
  • oatmeal cookies and milk
  • apple and whole wheat crackers
  • apple juice and crackers/cheese cubes
  • peanut butter sandwich and milk

Record Keeping

SFAs that choose to claim reimbursement for snacks must maintain the following records:

  • If all meals are claimed free, documentation that the site is located in an area served by a school in which at least 50 percent of the enrolled students are certified eligible for free or reduced price meals.
  • Applications for free and reduced price benefits for all children for whom free and reduced priced snacks are claimed, if less than 50 percent of the school's children are eligible for benefits.
  • Daily meal counts by category.
  • Daily attendance records, such as sign in sheets, for the snack program.
  • Written snack menus.
  • Daily production records.
  • All records must be maintained for three years plus the current year.

This represents an important initiative to bring nutritious snacks to children. Eligible schools are encouraged to participate. Please do not hesitate to contact your Child Nutrition representative for additional information.

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    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
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    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
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