The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) program administered through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in Massachusetts. It provides reimbursement to qualifying providers for healthy meals and snacks served to children in early education and care programs. These nutritious foods are vital to the wellness, growth, and development of children and the reimbursement proves to be especially helpful to early education and care programs that serve children from low-income families. However, many providers are unaware of CACFP or find the program difficult to access.
Research by BTWIC has found that, while all family child care programs in Massachusetts are eligible for the meal reimbursement program, approximately three-quarters are currently enrolled. For centers, where eligibility is determined by multiple factors, the rate of participation is only 25 percent. This represents a great loss to the providers, as well as to the children they serve.
BTWIC has been studying utilization of CACFP since 2012, gathering recommendations from a wide variety of caregivers across the state of Massachusetts. Our next Community Forum will take place in New Bedford on April 9, 2015, from 6:00PM – 8:00PM. Registration is free and open to all interested. Visit btwic.org/forum to sign up. If you have any questions, please contact Kira Taj at 617 425 0002.