Star - Jodi Merianos

I had the pleasure of meeting Jodi at Minute Menu's Bootcamp Conference in April.  She was stellar in all of the classes she attended and always had valuable information to share.  Her pride in working for Child Development Health and Nutrition was clear from our breakfast together and was continually reinforced throughout the week. is excited to share with you Jodi Merianos, our Star!  Jodi said it's tough work being a star as she filled out this questionnaire but like everything else, she crushed it. 

Jodi is the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Claims Director at Child Development Health and Nutrition, Inc in Massachusetts. She processes every single claim that comes through their door and is responsible for any of the Provider's monthly changes.  Not only are claims a big part of Jodi's job but she is also responsible for child enrollments, all required forms and documentation as well as updating ALL of this information on an annual basis. 

Did you know that Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Sponsors have a time of the month called "claim time?"  They have a very limited amount of time to get ALL of their providers' claims processed and submitted to their state.  After the claim submission, they have to turn around and get all of reimbursement checks out to the providers.  Jodi has 5 days (depending on how the first 5 days of the month fall-if on a weekend she might only have 3 days!) to process all of her claims and 5 days from that to get the checks out.  THIS is Jodi's favorite part of her job.  She loves the challenge of meeting these deadlines on a monthly basis.  Phew!  Go Jodi! 

We asked Jodi why she thinks her agency's work is important and she said:  "I believe the CACFP is an important component to the community. Providing nutrition education and other important health benefits to Family Day Care Educators. Linking and sharing the importance of healthy eating habits and food safety from the Provider to the Parent to the Child." One of the coolest things I learned because Jodi is Star is Frushi! Have you heard of it? Jodi loves Frushi it is one of her favorite things to make. She says there are all sorts of recipes out there Google them or search a recipe site. She shared with us a couple of links. Here is a picture and you can find a recipe and a different style of it here. 

Something new is happening over at Child Development Health and Nutrition, Inc and it has to do with training! Jodi tells us: "Our agency has recently developed online home studies. Providers can go to our website and either download or view the information pages and print out the quiz or enter their answers and submit them right off of the website. This is an easy way to meet their training hours for their license and State requirements." 

Away from work, Jodi's favorite all-time hobby is quilting! "I absolutely love fabric," Jodi says. She also shares, "If I'm not quilting, you'll most likely find me with my friends and family or perhaps just enjoying a good book. And of course, I love the Red Sox!" 

Thank you, Jodi, for doing such great work for our child care community!  Thank you for being our Star!

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Samantha Marshall, M.A.

Samantha is, just like you, excited to make a difference in our community and our world. With a Master of Arts degree in English Literature, you might ask how she found herself building and writing for a website focused on child care. From 1995 through 2001, Samantha started her career working for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsors which introduced her to the importance of non-profits, community and quality child care. Her experience with Sponsors, State Officials, and Family Child Care Providers left a great and lasting impression. Later in her career and her most recent position at SAGE Publications, an academic publisher, was as a product manager for a new online resource! During this time many of Samantha's passions collided. A love for the written word, children and the proliferation of knowledge as well as a fascination with the resources the internet gives us, building a community for child care on is the perfect way to make the difference she wanted to. Needless to say, she is very excited to be an active part of creating and building