Reauthorization of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

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The reauthorization of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) has a congressional Fall deadline. The CACFP is a federal program serving more than 3 million children in child care, Head Start, and after school programs across the country. With more science and academic reports explaining the benefits of healthy diets for kids, Congress will need to appropriately fund the program in order to ensure access to quality and nutritious foods for all children.

Today, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the ‘Access to Healthy Food for Young Children Act for 2015’ which would reduce the CACFP area eligibility from 50 percent to 40 percent to streamline access and expand eligibility to include more low-income children, give child care centers and family child care centers with the option of serving a reimbursable third meal, and increase the reimbursement rate for CACFP sponsoring organizations.

The science is there and statistics have proven that healthy, nutritious meals directly impact children’s ability to learn, cognitive development, physical development, emotions and social skills.

As child care providers, educators and community leaders we would encourage you to get involved by asking your member of Congress to support the Access to Healthy Food for Young Children Act for 2015.

Learn more about the Access to Healthy Food for Young Children Act for 2015 and share with your friends, family and colleagues.

Want to take action? FRAC has a toolkit you can use to schedule a visit for your member of Congress at a local CACFP site near you. Representatives are more likely to support and fund these programs if they see the work they do up close!

USDA Comment Period for Child and Adult Care Food Program Deadline April 15th

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is currently reviewing proposed rule updates to the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP): Meal Pattern Revisions Related to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The CACFP is a federal program serving more than 3 million children in child care, Head Start and after school programs across the country. USDA hopes to update the CACFP program to be consistent with the national school lunch program, WIC and other food assistance programs administered by the agency.

With more science and academic reports explaining the benefits of healthy diets for children, USDA has decided to review proposed meal patterns to include a variety of fruits and vegetables. The proposed rules would update the current meal standards to reflect nutritious guidelines and menu items for participants.

As care providers, educators and community leaders, we encourage you to get involved by sharing your comments regarding the proposed rule. The science is clear, healthy nutritious meals directly impact children’s ability to learn, cognitive development, physical development, emotions and social skills.

A brief overview of the proposed rule is as follow:

  • Fat free flavored milk only
  • Disallow onsite frying
  • Breakfast cereals be allowed to conform to the WIC requirements
  • Onsite water
  • Codified family style meal service
  • Technical Assistance for providers and CACFP compliance

Get involved today by sharing your comments, support or recommendations with USDA before the April 15th comment period deadline.

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U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs like USDA’s Food Nutrition Service (FNS) Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) help improve access to food and healthful diets for millions of Americans. Photo from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.