Seventy elementary-aged children from Downes Elementary School gather after school every Monday-Friday to participate in the City of Newark’s after-school enrichment program.
From 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., kids in grades K-5 have a safe place to hang out. The team from the City of Newark, led by Tori Paruszewski, helps with homework, plays games, colors, crafts and hosts other fun activities with the students.
In addition to after-school fun, students also receive a snack thanks to the Food Bank of Delaware’s after-school nutrition program (Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is the official name!) The program, sponsored by USDA, is administered here in Delaware by the Department of Education. As a sponsor, the Food Bank of Delaware prepares meals and after-school snacks for 63 sites across the state. Meals are prepared thanks to a committed team of volunteers.
On our particular visit to Downes Elementary, students enjoyed a healthy snack consisting of oranges and milk.
Other snacks received through the program include applesauce, Wow Butter sandwiches, whole-grain graham crackers and more.
Community-based programs that offer enrichment activities for children and youth, 18 and under, after the regular school day ends, can provide free meals and snacks through CACFP. Programs must be offered in areas where at least 50 percent of the children are eligible for free and reduced price meals based upon school data.
Thanks to income qualifications based on school data and not individual qualifications, no child is singled out in order to receive a free meal!
Community collaborations, like our partnership with the City of Newark, are central to the success of the after-school nutrition program. Community after-school programs or daycare centers that are interested in becoming involved with CACFP, click here!