LANCASTER, TX – Providing services beyond the school day to the students of Lancaster ISD has regularly been a common practice. Whether it’s through tutorials, student organizations, college awareness activities or athletics, Lancaster ISD educators have consistently offered service and support long after the dismissal bell.
Due to a recent change in policy from the United States Department of Agriculture, the Lancaster ISD Child Nutrition Department is able to extend its services even further to incorporate a broader category of after-school programs and provide free after-school snacks to even more Lancaster ISD students.
“Now, we are currently serving approximately 500 snacks a day,” Director of Child Nutrition Cheryl Richardson said.
Previously, snacks were only offered to children in tutorial and enrichment programs. Eligible after-school programs now include the following:
· Programs which provide educational or enrichment activities in an organized, structured and supervised environment after the end of the school day, on weekends, or on holidays during the school year
· Programs designed to meet special needs of enrolled children, such as programs for children with learning disabilities or children who are academically gifted, may also be eligible to participate
· Programs that include supervised athletics or clubs
After-school snacks must meet regulations and must contain at least two different components of the following four: a serving of fluid milk; a serving of meat or meat alternate; a serving of vegetables or fruits or full strength vegetable or fruit juice; a serving of whole grain or enriched bread or cereal.
“This is a snack but is also additional nutrition provided to students at the end of day, when they may become hungry,” Richardson said. “The Child Nutrition Department is currently looking into providing a dinner meal. We are awaiting additional information from our ESC and USDA on offering dinner meals, which will greatly benefit the students in our district which may not have access to an evening meal.”