KCK Public Schools’ supper program called model for the nation

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- An after school supper program in the Kansas City Kansas school district is being recognized as a model for the nation in a national report.

Wyandotte High School is home to some of the 134 different after school programs that receive meal deliveries.

The Food and Research Action Center says KCK Public Schools have brought together elected leaders, principals and after school programs to provide more than a thousand supper a day.

All of the meals are prepared at the district's central kitchen to maintain quality and then delivered with school district trucks to after school programs across the county.

The district trains staffers who don't work in food service to serve the suppers, another way to keep the costs down.

Federal funds pay for the program, and despite the growing number of kids who eat the suppers, the school district says it's not draining money away from other educational efforts.

"Our cost on these meals is somewhere between $2 and $2.50," said Josh Mathiasmeier, director of nutritional services. "We are getting upwards of $3.50 reimbursement for these meals. It’s a very successful program that we look to continue."

The school district continues to seek out more after school programs to receive the free suppers. Many are exposed to healthy fruits and vegetables at an early age and develop healthy eating habits, thanks to getting food that may not be available to them at home.

Research show students who are hungry can't concentrate and often don't perform well in the classroom. With schools now providing three square meals a day, supporters are confident it's helping eliminate the insecurity some kids have about where they're going to get their next meal.