FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 17, 2021
Media Contact: Taya Jarman, 804-864-7299
National Child & Adult Care Food Program Week Through March 20, 2021
(Richmond, VA) – This week is National Child & Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Week through March 20, 2021. The goal of CACFP is to serve nutritious meals to children attending childcare homes and centers. CACFP also works to establish positive eating habits at the earliest stages of development, reduce future health care and education costs due to lack of proper early development and train and support local childcare personnel. Research indicates that the CACFP is one important factor in providing quality childcare.
During National CACFP Week, Virginia CACFP joins with family childcare providers, center staff, and afterschool programs, in acknowledging the many ways our community benefits from the CACFP. Since the inception of the CACFP in 1968, this program has granted children and adults excellent foundations and benefits, which is vital to Virginia’s long-term health.
Virginia CACFP provides over 24.8 million meals and snacks to over 59,000 participants daily in childcare centers, family care homes, adult day centers, emergency shelters, and Head Start programs. Over 1,000 care centers/sponsors and 1,700 family day care home providers working with 11 sponsors use Virginia CACFP to provide children and adults with high quality nutrition and learning experiences.
“Proper nutrition is essential to the health and well-being of Virginians,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, M.D., M.A. “We salute CACFP providers for the invaluable work they do to provide healthy meals to Virginia’s children and older residents.”
Children that are cared for by providers participating in the CACFP benefit by being fed nutritious USDA regulated meals that ensure their proper development. These children gain from early nutrition education that helps them establish positive eating habits that will enrich the quality of their diet throughout their life. With proper nutrition, the child is less likely to experience illness and fatigue and will develop at a normal physical and intellectual pace. Good nutrition is the recipe for an all-around happier child.
Providers receive nutrition education and support services from their CACFP sponsor that help them serve nutritious meals and create a positive eating environment for children. The quality of childcare provided in our community is improved due to educational and financial resources available to caregivers through the CACFP.