March 12-18 marks National Child and Adult Care Food Program Week (CACFP). This national effort brings attention to food insecurity and focuses on the work that the USDA does to provide healthy food for children ages 0-18 through child care homes and centers, afterschool programs, emergency programs, and adult care programs across the country. CACFP provides over $28 million to South Carolina each year and works with over 1,300 of our adult and child care programs.
At End Child Hunger South Carolina, we would like to take a moment to highlight and thank the afterschool programs in our community that help feed children and help local families succeed. Two of our Family Champion Leaders have shared the everyday impact of the afterschool programs that helped their families, and thus our community, succeed.
The end of the school day comes around so fast. I love the afterschool program my son attends and their services is so appreciated. I know my son looks forward to going everyday. I work and attend school. They provide dinner, which saves me so much additional time when we do get home. My son really enjoys when they serve BBQ chicken, and I love the fact that they serve complete, balanced meals with something from every food group. I encourage my child to eat some of everything. I want his diet to be well balanced because it is so easy to eat all the wrong things. They serve meals that I would make at home and then give the students a snack before they leave for the day which is very comforting.
Another plus is the great staff. It really feels like a community. There are activities for the boys, the girls, and the parents. They have coaches helping with sports, and I have seen other staff sitting in small groups helping with homework. It is an all-around positive place for the kids to be. My son and I both love the fact that when every sports season starts, we are one of the first people to sign up. I have come a long way myself, and I want my son to stay active, and at Hyatt Park Afterschool Program he is very active.
When it comes to deciding on an afterschool program for your child, there’s a lot of factors to consider such as:
– How much is it?
– Where is it and how is my child getting there?
– Is there a curriculum?
– What times are they open? Are they open for early release days?
Being a single parent, I thought about these very factors (among many others). There were a lot of options offered at my daughter’s elementary school, but the program that stood out to me was the Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands.
They are conveniently located at several schools, including my daughter’s school. The rate is based on income, so it is quite affable and they close at 6:30pm. They also help with homework and have activities for the kids. But what really sealed the deal for me was that they offer a nutritious dinner for the kids every day! Yes, they serve dinner!
For me, that added bonus speaks volumes and gives me one less worry every day. Plus my daughter loves the food! They usually have an entree with two sides and a drink. Some days they keep it simple and the kids have pizza! I can be assured that everyday when I pick my daughter up, she is happy and her tummy is full. You can look for a Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands campus for your kid by going to http://www.begreatacademy.com.
We invite you to learn more about CACFP and their work in South Carolina by visiting these websites.