Reflections - Inspired by the Food Program Conferences

I have had the recent pleasure of being surrounded by inspirational people focused on getting nutritional meals to children in child care settings.  How do they do this?  They do it by working with the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).  

I spoke to or heard from food program sponsors, Head Start centers, child nutrition advocates, authors and researchers…the list goes on.  Follow this series for posts that have been inspired by the wonderful and motivated people I have met at The Child and Adult Care Food Program Sponsor Association conference, held in September and the Child Care Food Program Roundtable Conference held in mid-October.

We will feature some attendees, speakers, vendors and the people that brought the information and conference to the food program community.  These conferences have made me wonder how we can better inform the public of the contribution the people of The Food Program are making.  Just to name a few:

1.       child wellness

2.       raising the standards of quality child care

3.       keeping the costs of child care down

4.       the battle against childhood obesity

5.       helping the 16.7 million children that live in food insecure homes get nutritional meals (Feeding America, 2012)

More than 60% of children under age 6 in the United States have all parents in the labor force which means that many children are in a child care setting of some sort  (Children's Defense Fund, 2012).  We’ll also discuss different ways the food program[1] could become a household program name and a major consideration in quality child care choices. 

Let’s get inspired and start some fun and meaningful discussions with the goal to educate people of the impact the food program has on our communities!

Children's Defense Fund. (2012, January). Children in the United States. Retrieved 10 24, 2012, from Children's Defense Fund:

Feeding America. (2012). Child Hunger Facts. Retrie[1] A colloquial (and shorter) term for the Child and Adult Care Food program is simply “the Food Program” and will be how I refer to it from here on out.  

[1] A colloquial (and shorter) term for the Child and Adult Care Food program is simply “the Food Program” and will be how I refer to it from here on out.  I may also default to the acronym, CACFP.  Acronyms, however, make my head spin when they are used over and over again, so I will attempt to refrain from the lazy writing.


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