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Nutritious Meals for the Children in Child Care and Afterschool Could Be on the Way

ROUND ROCK, TX, US, November 30, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ -- The National CACFP Sponsors Association (NCA) has endorsed three bills in Congress to improve, expand, and strengthen the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).

The CACFP is a Child Nutrition Program through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that provides reimbursement to program operators for serving nutritious meals and snacks to children in child care centers, family child care homes, Head Start centers, emergency shelters, and afterschool programs as well as adults in day care.

Child care is becoming increasingly unaffordable nationwide as prices rise and access to child care decreases. Providers who operate on small margins are able to keep their doors open because of the financial reimbursement they receive for serving nutritious meals and snacks. Providers in low-income areas are able to keep tuition costs low for working-families that rely on child care. By participating in the CACFP, providers are able to make their business more financially stable, ensuring access to child care for those in their communities. However, there are substantial areas in need of improvement in the CACFP. Therefore, CACFP champions in Congress have introduced legislation to make the CACFP more accessible and equitable.

Congressman Greg Landsman and Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici introduced the Child Care Nutrition Enhancement Act (H.R.5569/S.3294) in the House of Representatives alongside Senator Bob Casey’s sponsorship in the Senate. This legislation would increase the financial reimbursement received by CACFP operators to help fill the gap between the cost of providing meals and the reimbursement they currently receive. This would ease the financial burden on child care providers, as well as working families who struggle to find affordable care.

Congresswoman Bonamici and Congressman Marc Molinaro also introduced the bipartisan Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act (H.R.6067). This legislation would allow an additional meal or snack for children in full-day care, as well as streamline the program to make it easier for child and adult care providers to participate. The burdensome requirements of the CACFP exceed the benefit of reimbursement for many providers – hindering program participation and causing the CACFP to be underutilized. This legislation would not only work to decrease the administrative burden of the program, but also increase the benefit to providers who are open for long hours.

NCA is proud to endorse each of these critically important bills and is grateful for the Representatives and Senators in Congress championing CACFP. “It is imperative for Congress to continue to work to pass this legislation. Child and adult care providers rely on the reimbursement provided by the CACFP to serve nutritious meals to those in their care and to help support their small business. Families also depend on their child and adult care providers to make sure that the children and adults in their care do not go hungry.” - Lisa Mack, President and CEO, National CACFP Sponsors Association

To help ensure the nutrition security of more than 4.7 million children and adults each day, visit NCA’s Action Center to urge your elected official to support the Child Care Nutrition Enhancement Act and the Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act.

The National CACFP Sponsors Association’s (NCA) mission is to provide advocacy, education, resources, support, and community for those who administer, operate and participate in the CACFP. Learn more at www.cacfp.org.

Jennifer Basey
National CACFP Sponsors Association
+1 512-850-8278
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