Sharing the CACFP Leadership Conference with You - Part 1

We can't expect our children to be hungry for knowledge if they are just plain hungry. ~ USDA Secretary Vilsack

Over 1,000 people from all over the country ascended upon Washington, D.C., to talk about hunger, health and nutrition in America.  I believe the discussion has pivoted a bit, over the years, from just hunger to health and nutrition because they are inextricably tied.  A meeting made up of the people who work night and day to make sure people's basest need and right is fulfilled is full of a special energy; one that leaves me humbled and inspired.  

Sharing some soundbites below and resources in Part 2.

Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

Meal Pattern: USDA to issue new rule in Spring/Summer 2016.  Implementation of New Rule to begin in 2017.  No specifics passed that.

Geri Henchy, FRAC, says we need Partners for CACFP Success and Policy for CACFP Access.

  • Partners would include: Nutrition and Obesity groups, Child Care, Afterschool and business.  Join or create coalitions, summits, workgroups and meetings. 
  • Policy: Think about subsidy, licensing, CACFP and Afterschool.
  • The timing is right.

Ellen Teller, FRAC, told us how to talk to our representatives and how good it was that the Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) was passed through the committee unanimously.  She told us to talk about the children, the little bodies - really get it across the impact the program is making on children's health and wellness.  Share actual stories of bringing quality care to the forefront.

Mary Beth Testa, Consultant for NAFCC, shared with us that the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) is going to change where the providers are.  There are some exciting things happening but we also need to be real about what is actually happening.  Because this is going to impact where the children are, where the providers are - it is going to impact where CACFP is.

Dr. Christina Hecht shared information about the National Drinking Water Alliance and some post-it's we can put next to our plates to help us and the children to include water with our meals!  Contact Christina if you're interested in the post its.

National Drinking Water Alliance: http://www.drinkingwateralliance.org/

National Drinking Water Alliance: http://www.drinkingwateralliance.org/

Partnerships can include Food Banks and your fiercest competitors.  Food banks are often known for the integral community service of collecting donated food and distributing it to those in need.  Did you know they do so much more? Backpack programs, mobile pantries, school pantries and even vending healthy meals.  Look up your local food bank and see what programs they run.  Competitors Learning Care Group and Kindercare partnered to create purchasing power for healthier foods in the centers.

That was just the first day!  Stay tuned for part two which includes a ton of useful resources!

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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 ChildCareInfo.com 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 ChildCareInfo.com.