Assembly Bill 626—Afterschool Meals
Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin
Purpose: Policy, Action Required, Beneficial Information
To: School Nutrition Sponsors and At-risk Afterschool Agencies
Attention: Food Service Directors and Business Officials
Date: January 2014
Reference: Assembly Bill 626 (Skinner), Chapter 706, Statutes of 2013 California Education Code sections 8423, 8482.3, and 8483.3 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010
Subject: Assembly Bill 626—Afterschool Meals
This Management Bulletin (MB) provides information regarding the implementation of Assembly Bill 626 (Skinner), Chapter 706, Statutes of 2013, which in part amended California Education Code (EC) sections 8423, 8482.3, and 8483.3. Effective January 1, 2014, afterschool programs referred to in these EC sections have the option to serve a snack, a meal, or both to students in their care.
Afterschool programs may be eligible to participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), which provides federal reimbursement to eligible agencies for serving a meal and/or a snack to children. Federally-reimbursable meals served to students in afterschool programs must meet CACFP requirements. For flexibility, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) allows School Food Authorities to use either the CACFP or the National School Lunch Program meal pattern. AB 626 clarifies that afterschool meals are not required to comply with the California nutrition standards stated in EC Section 49430. Snacks must continue to meet these California nutrition standards.
Overview of Assembly Bill 626
The goal of AB 626 is to add a meal to the acceptable food options that must be offered to students in afterschool programs. Since 2006, EC sections 8423, 8482.3, and 8483.3 have stated that a healthy snack must be offered to students in the After School Education and Safety Program, the federally-funded 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program, and the 21st Century High School After School Safety and Enrichment for Teens Program. To ensure healthy snacks, they had to comply, at a minimum, with the California nutrition standards identified in EC sections 49430–49431.7.
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 expanded the At-risk Afterschool Meals component of the CACFP to all states. Afterschool programs now have the option to serve a snack, a meal, or both. Previously, California considered the meal a large snack and required the meal to conform to the California nutrition standards for snacks. AB 626 recognizes that a meal following federal nutrition standards for the CACFP is more nutritious than a snack, and thus does not need to conform to additional nutrition standards. Nutrition standards for the snack have not changed. If an afterschool program serves a snack to students, the snack must continue to meet the California nutrition standards.
For information about the At-risk Afterschool Program meal pattern and more, you can download the program handbook from the USDA Afterschool Programs web page at https://www.fns.usda.gov/cacfp/afterschool-programs.
Information about the California nutrition standards for snacks is available on the California Department of Education Snacks and Meal Standards for After School Programs web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/as/afterschoolnutstan.asp.
The full text of AB 626 can be found on the California Legislative Information web page at http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB626.
If you have any questions regarding this MB, please contact the California Department of Education Nutrition Services Division by phone at 800-952-5609 or by email at HHFKA@cde.ca.gov.