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Super Supper Stats

PHOTO: More Maryland kids are getting supper through the Afterschool Meals Program, according to a new report by Maryland Hunger Solutions. Photo credit: Maryland Hunger Solutions
PHOTO: More Maryland kids are getting supper through the Afterschool Meals Program, according to a new report by Maryland Hunger Solutions. Photo credit: Maryland Hunger Solutions
July 25, 2013

BALTIMORE, Md. - The number of children who receive federally-funded suppers has tripled in the three years since the Afterschool Meal Program started in Maryland. A report out today from Maryland Hunger Solutions revealed that about 11,500 kids who otherwise might not get a meal receive supper at more than 440 sites in the state.

Michael J. Wilson, the new director of Maryland Hunger Solutions, said the meals meet government nutrition guidelines and are offered at locations where kids also participate in tutoring or other educational activities.

"They may get something like a vegetable lasagna and green beans and a whole wheat roll, apple slices and milk. They get a healthy meal, in addition to getting academic achievement. That's a win-win for Maryland all around," Wilson said.

The program is federally funded through the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act, which Congress passed in 2010 and will take up again starting in 2014. In addition to federal funding for the meals, Wilson said it is critical the state provides a more reliable commitment to fund the afterschool programs themselves.

However, many schools eligible for the program are not participating, Wilson noted.

"There are seven jurisdictions," he said. "Calvert, Carroll, Harford, Howard, Queen Anne's, St. Mary's and Talbot have had no active after-school supper sites operating in the 2011-2012 system. We want to help reach out to them."

After-school meals not only help combat hunger and obesity, he added. They also keep youth engaged in learning and involved in safe activities while their parents are working.

Alison Burns, Public News Service - MD