Police Athletic League (PAL) New York, NY
New York City’s Police Athletic League (PAL) serves healthy meals and snacks to kids and teens in more than a dozen afterschool and childcare programs throughout the city. PAL is a non-profit organization that works closely with New York City Police Department and the law enforcement community to support and inspire youth to realize their full potential. The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) plays an integral role in the success of their programs; Site Director Madeline Esquivel explains, “[CACFP] helps the kids stay focused, improves mood and behavior, and in addition, it benefits their growth and development.”
PAL works with the food vendor Two Steps Down to procure nutritious meals for their programs. Once the food is delivered, PAL staff ensure it is stored and served properly and manage attendance, meal counts, and other administrative tasks required for CACFP. The program uses cycle menus to plan their meal service, modifying the menus seasonally with an eye toward variety. Esquivel appreciates the opportunity to support healthy eating habits and encourage kids to try new foods. She advises, “Make sure the kids are exposed to the food on a constant basis for them to see, taste, and feel until they are comfortable eating it, offer options, and have patience for the picky eaters.”
PAL also participates in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) to nourish kids year-round. Manager of Food Services Angela Guarino encourages other organizations to learn more about these programs and to consider participating in both. “[Sponsoring CACFP and SFSP] has been very beneficial for our programs and allows us to provide nutritious foods to participants in the community.”
To learn more about CACFP and summer meals, visit AfterschoolMealsNY.org and SummerMealsNY.org.