The food program (CACFP) came up in conversation a lot last week. For two reasons:
- USDA's Undersecretary Kevin Concannon announced that the final rule for the new CACFP Meal Pattern have been published at the National CACFP Sponsor's Association Conference
- The House Bill (Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016 (H.R. 5003)) for the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act was announced lacking any support for CACFP. Some positions and statements on the bill.
- The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) released an opposition statement on April 22, 2016.
- National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) released a statement in opposition on April, 24, 2016.
What Does It Mean?
Final Rule for New Meal Pattern Requirements
You may remember when the proposed rule was released and we submitted comments to USDA regarding the rule. After USDA read through all of the comments and deliberated on the best approach for the health of the children and the realistic application of the rule, the final rule has been released. Some things to keep in mind:
- Compliance goes into effect October 1, 2017.
- Your state and CACFP Sponsor will provide technical assistance to help you implement these changes.
- USDA was aware that reimbursement rates would not be increased along with these meal pattern changes so their goal was to keep the changes as cost neutral.
- USDA created some one page summaries that help us easily identify the changes that have been made in this final rule.
- You're not in this alone. We will all be working together to implement these changes efficiently and effectively.
As I said, there is not a raise in reimbursement rates with these changes. However, RIGHT NOW, Congress is working on the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act 2016 and it is at this time that we educate Congress of the needs of CACFP participants.
Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) Act 2016
You may remember earlier this year, we were all very excited about an additional snack provision in the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee bill. This bill was called, Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016. The committee voted unanimously to pass the bill. Then we had to wait for the House of Representatives to introduce their version the bill. This happened last week and has not been well received by the child nutrition community.
Now the House Education and Workforce Committee will discuss, markup and vote on the Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016 (H.R. 5003).
Most glaring issue in the House bill for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) community is the absence of an additional snack or meal.
Be on the Look Out
Stay informed of the resources coming out from USDA, your state, and CACFP Sponsor regarding the New Meal Pattern.
When calls to action are announced - do them! It's up to us to make Congress understand that participation on the CACFP raises the quality of nutrition and care for the children in it and that providers need the appropriate supports - including monetary.
Ideas for Alerts