Ideally, having the school food service director sponsor the after school or summer
nutrition program will be as simple as asking about it. Yet the director may not know
that federal after school and summer nutrition program funding is available. In addition,
he or she may not know about your after school program or may not be aware of how
helpful it would be to sponsor the nutrition program. Make your case.
Some school food service directors may be reluctant to sponsor the after school
or summer nutrition programs for ASES grantees. Often, this is due to their
concern that the ASES program staff will not properly fill out the paperwork or will
not serve a complete snack or meal. If that happens, the food service department does
not get reimbursed for the snacks and loses money. To alleviate these concerns, the
school food service department can hold a training for all of the ASES program staff.
If that doesnt persuade the food service director, it may be necessary to
get support from the leaders in your district, such as the superintendent and the
school principal. They have a self-interest in ensuring that your after school
program has access to the nutrition programs, because providing a nutritious snack
is a requirement for the district to receive ASES funding. The nutrition funding can
be used to meet the matching requirement, which alleviates the pressure on school
administrators to identify matching funds.
Once the school food service director agrees to provide the food, work with
the director as a partner. You could propose developing a menu planning committee—composed
of school nutrition staff, students in the program, parents, and after school staff—to
discuss how the nutrition program is running. You could also suggest holding monthly
or quarterly meetings with your staff and the school nutrition staff to discuss how
the nutrition program is working.