Healthy Children - June 2018

USDA Celebrates CACFP’s 50th Birthday

The USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) turns 50 on May 8, and we have so much to celebrate.

A half a century, CACFP has supported working families by ensuring that children, as well as elderly and/or disables adult get healthy meals and snack when they are being cared for away from home. More than 4.4 million children and 131,000 adults receive nutritious meals and snacks each day through our partners. And it’s a number that keeps growing, as more caregivers go back to work and need care for their loved ones.

CACFP makes a difference for our participants and their caregivers. Babies, preschoolers, and older children get wholesome meals and snacks, as well as nutrition education to help them grow healthy, smart and strong; while elderly and disables adults get balanced meals and snacks that support healthy, active aging. All those meals are delivered by partnering care providers, such as day care centers, family day care homes, emergency shelters, afterschool programs and adult day care facilities. Many parents look for participation in CACFP as they shop for care providers for their loved ones, since CACFP’s participation is considered a mark of high-quality care.

CACFP makes a difference for local communities, too. CACFP funding and guidance help support care providers, increasing the number of affordable care options in local communities, especially in rural areas. When parents know that excellent care is available for their loved ones, they feel more confident returning to the workplace. It all adds up to strong communities and more peace of mind for our nation’s working parents. Wondering how CACFP delivers such high impact services? It’s through high standards, excellent program support and a group of partners worth celebrating. The recently updated CACFP meal pattern adheres to the most up-to-date nutrition recommendations, and our partners receive training, technical assistance, and ongoing guidance so that they can deliver nutritious meals while meeting our high fiscal standards.

Just last week FNS announced the availability of $5.4 million in training grants to help child and adult care providers deliver first class meal service. These grants will empower states and operators with the resources to run CACFP in ways that best serve their needs. We are committed to listening to our partner and giving them the resources to protect the health and well-being of the children and adults they serve.

And CACFP just keeps getting better.

We’re working on growing partnerships to increase participation among day care providers, further strengthening program integrity, and publishing new resources for providers on how to cook healthy, delicious meals. We also have a library of downloadable resources, including our newest recipes, at www.fns.usda.gov/tn/team-nutrition.

All of our partners thank you for 50 wonderful years serving working families and supporting CACFP! Celebrate with us supporting CACFP in your community.

To find a care provider in your community that offers CACFP meals or if you are a day care provider who would like to start serving CAFP meals, visit: www.fns.usda.gov/cacfp/cacfp-contacts.