An after-school dinner program is making sure thousands of Metro students receive a hot meal after school at no cost before heading home.
Metro Nashville Public Schools expanded its after-school supper program in November to 35 sites, up from 12 sites participating in the program in its first year.
“We have many students in our district that the only meals they receive are the ones they get while they’re at school,” said Dr. Braina Corke, assistant director of MNPS Nutrition Service. “You can see the excitement on the students’ faces as they come through the cafe line at the end of the day. It’s important for the community to know that students need this meal.”
The after-school meal is available to students enrolled in a Metro-sponsored after-school program. Jennifer Bell, Metro Schools’ director of extended learning, said the program has been able to reach more students through partnerships with external after-school program providers including the Boys and Girls Club, Nashville After Zone Alliance and YMCA Fun Company.
“We have so many opportunities in Metro schools for families who are going without essential nutritional components,” Bell said. “There are so many great things going on in this city to reach more students and families.”
More than 70 percent of Metro students qualify for free or reduced lunch, and the district currently offers free breakfast and lunch to all of its students.
Dinner is made possible through the district’s participation in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Child and Adult Care Food program.
“We have so many students who are actively participating in school after the bell rings that we saw a great opportunity through the CFPA program to provide the supper at no cost to taxpayers,” Bell said.
Meals served at dinner are approved by the USDA, which requires a dairy item, protein, fruit and vegetable. Bell noted that the dinner program allows students to come back for a second helping.
Corke, whose team is responsible for planning MNPS menus, stressed the importance of the program in exposing students to new foods. “We’re exposing them to new things like kiwi, halos, all types of fruits and vegetables. (We) encourage the students to try something new.”
She added, “The food is wonderful, but the fellowship and time with other students is also a benefit for our students, as well.”
Meals served to students enrolled in after-school programs immediately upon school dismissal for no cost at the following schools:
Antioch Middle School, 5050 Blue Hole Road
Apollo Middle School, 631 Richards Road
Alex Green Elementary School, 3921 Lloyd Road
Amqui Elementary, 319 Anderson Lane
Bellshire Elementary, 1128 Bell Grimes Lane
Buena Vista Enhanced Option Elementary School, 1531 9th Ave.
Cane Ridge Elementary School, 3884 Ashford Trace
Croft Design Center Middle Prep, 482 Elysian Fields Road
Dan Mills Elementary School, 4106 Kennedy Avenue
Donelson Middle School, 110 Stewarts Ferry Pike
Eakin Elementary School, 2500 Fairfax Ave
Glengarry Elementary School, 200 Finley Drive
Glenview Elementary School, 1020 Patricia Drive
Goodlettsville Elementary, 514 Donald Street
Hattie Cotton Elementary School, 1033 West Greenwood Avenue
Haywood Elementary School, 3790 Turley Drive
Hull-Jackson Elementary School, 1015 Kellow Street
Isaac Litton Middle Prep School, 4601 Hedgewood Drive
E. Moss Elementary School, 4701 Bowfield Drive
John Early Museum Magnet Middle Prep, 1000 Cass Street
Jones Paideia Elementary Magnet School, 1800 9th Avenue North
Margaret Allen Middle Prep School, 500 Spencer Lane
McKissack Middle Prep School, 915 38th Ave.
McMurray Middle Prep School, 520 McMurray Drive
Meigs Middle Magnet, 713 Ramsey Street
Napier Enhanced Option Elementary School, 60 Fairfield Drive
Neely’s Bend Elementary, 1300 Neely’s Bend Road
Norman Binkley Elementary School, 4700 Longdale Drive
Old Center Elementary, 1245 Dickerson Pike South
Paragon Mills Elementary School, 260 Paragon Mills Rd
Robert Lillard Elementary, 3200 King’s Lane
Rosebank Elementary School, 1012 Preston Drive
Taylor Stratton Elementary 310 Old Hickory Blvd.West
Whitsitt Elementary School, 110 Whitsitt Road
Wright Middle Prep School, 180 McCall Street