March 12-18 is National CACFP Week, a time dedicated to raising awareness and increasing participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). CACFP is a federal nutrition program that provides reimbursement funding and nutrition education to help afterschool and early care providers serve healthy meals and snacks to the children and teenagers in their care. CACFP is currently underutilized; many more programs and providers can participate, increasing access to quality nutrition where children learn, grow, and play.
Follow the links below to access information and resources to help you learn more about CACFP, connect with partners, and get involved in efforts to increase program participation.
Learn more about CACFP:
Visit our new webpage ChildCareMealsNY.org to learn how CACFP works, who may be eligible to participate, and how programs and providers can get started. Among other resources, you will find:
- Information about CACFP eligibility and program requirements for afterschool programs, childcare centers, and home-based care providers.
- Meal pattern requirements and sample menus featuring CACFP-creditable recipes.
- NYS Department of Health’s online CACFP prescreening tool.
- Webinars & FAQs covering a range of topics for early care and afterschool programs considering CACFP.
Connect with partners who can help you get started:
- Childcare: Home-based childcare providers participate in CACFP through local sponsoring organizations. Our partners at Early Care and Learning Council can help providers connect with their local sponsor; click here to view their contact list for CACFP sponsoring organizations throughout the state.
- Afterschool: NYS Network for Youth Success can provide information, education, and technical assistance to help afterschool programs explore the option of serving meals and/or snacks through CACFP. Click here to access Network for Youth Success’ child nutrition resources.
- School food authorities and other school administrators may also connect with Hunger Solutions New York for one-on-one assistance with implementing or expanding CACFP and other federal nutrition programs.
Help increase participation in CACFP:
- Apply for CACFP: If you are an early care or afterschool care provider or a school administrator, consider applying for CACFP. To start an application, contact the NYS Department of Health by calling (518) 402-7400 or emailing [email protected] using the subject line “Outreach Coordinator.”
- Assist with CACFP outreach: Be a messenger to programs and providers in your area; share our resources and contact information to help spread the word about CACFP. To participate in CACFP Week outreach on social media, post using the hashtags #CACFPWeek and #AccessForEveryChild.