Traveling Apple Policy and New Guidance from USDA
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service released new guidance to extend the flexibility to allow participants in the at-risk afterschool component of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) to take certain food items off site, this policy is often referred to as the ”Traveling Apple Policy.” This allowance only applies to the at-risk afterschool component of the CACFP and improves consistency among the Child Nutrition Programs. The guidance states that children can take one vegetable, fruit or grain item off site to eat at a later time but must be from the child’s own meal or snack or left on a shared table by another child that did not want it. Previously, the USDA allowed students to save food items for later consumption outside of a meal service area after the established meal period in Summer Meal Programs and School Nutrition Programs. Afterschool programs were not included in the “Traveling Apple Policy.” The objective of the new and inclusive USDA guidance is to allow food to be consumed at later times, to diminish food waste, and encourage consumption of fruits and vegetables that do not have to be refrigerated. Access the USDA Memo.