Blog from Browning: Afterschool Meals in Browning

By: Jerrica Lunak

Browning was planning on implementing an afterschool meal program for a few months but was set back due to staffing issues. Although it was the middle of May, we decided to pilot the program and get a feel of it for the last three weeks of the school year. The program started in two of our six schools but once the meals were out, two more schools approached us wanting to join in on the snacks. The method we thought would be most successful in Browning was to serve sack style bags as part of the regular school day. The super snack bag consisted of 5 components; protein, grain, veggie, fruit and milk. The meals were delivered to the classrooms and snacked on in the last 20 min of class. This would have never been possible without the commitment of the teachers. I think the teachers know the students are hungry and unknown thought of what food they are going home to is the main reason the teachers couldn’t decline. We served an average of 693 bags of snack each day, depending on school attendance. The program required a lot of manpower but was super successful. We reached our ultimate goals and put one more meal into the stomachs of the children on the Blackfeet reservation. We plan to continue the afterschool meal program, when the schools year begins in the fall.  We will offer the program at all schools but the ultimate decision is up to the principals and teachers.