Press Release: Hawai‘i in Bottom 3 States for Serving Afterschool Suppers to Low-Income Keiki

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

Contacts:

Paula Adams Nicole Woo
Hawa‘i Afterschool Alliance Hawai‘i Appleseed Center for Law & Economic Justice
(808) 380-1602 (808) 369-2512
hawaiiafterschool@gmail.com nicole@hiappleseed.org

Hawai‘i in Bottom 3 States for Serving Afterschool Suppers to Low-Income Keiki

State Foregoing over $500,000 in Federal Meal Reimbursements

Honolulu, April 12, 2018 — The first-ever national report on federal afterschool nutrition programs finds Hawai‘i lagging far behind other states in serving afterschool snacks or suppers to low-income students.

Afterschool Suppers: A Snapshot of Participation, recently published by the Food Research and Action Center, looks at participation data in the federally funded afterschool nutrition programs at both the national level and for each state.

The report’s key indicator compares the number of low-income children who participated in school lunch with the number who received afterschool suppers in 2016. While the national average was 15 students having supper for every 300 who ate free or reduced-price school lunch, Hawai‘i served less than 1 in 300. That places Hawai‘i in the bottom 3 states.

“The meals program reinforces the healthy living messages our children and youth learn about in the Y’s after school programs, “ said Diane Tabangay, of the YMCA of Honolulu. “Above all, many of our youth tell us that this is their only meal until the next school day.”

In addition, federal funding is available to serve supper to children at afterschool programs in low-income communities. These dollars can help children get needed nutrition after school, as well as free up funds for afterschool programs to expand their reach and/or improve their quality.

Currently 3 states are serving supper to close to 15 children for every 100 students getting free or reduced-price school lunch. If Hawai‘i were to reach that modest goal, close to 10,000 more low-income keiki would be getting an afterschool supper, and our state would be receiving over $500,000 per year in additional federal reimbursements.

“Afterschool programs provide important enrichment activities and safe spaces for children in low-income communities,” stated Paula Adams of the Hawai‘i Afterschool Alliance. “Providing snacks or suppers can reduce hunger and also support these programs that are essential for our children and families.”

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The Hawai?i Afterschool Alliance is a network of individuals and organizations dedicated to supporting and advancing sustainable, quality afterschool and summer learning programs that result in improved academic, social, emotional, and physical outcomes for children and families in Hawai?i. ?

 Hawai‘i Appleseed is working to build a more socially just Hawai‘i, where everyone has genuine opportunities to achieve economic security and fulfill their potential. We change systems that perpetuate inequality and injustice through policy development, coalition building, and advocacy.