USDA has announced a new "suite of waivers" to ensure children have access to nutritious meals as the nations recovers from the pandemic. Many will look familiar BUT there are some additional flexibilities in this round. Here are a couple highlighted:
Nationwide Waiver of Area Eligibility in the Afterschool Programs and for Family Day Care Home Providers in School Year 2021-2022: This waiver allows all day care homes, regardless of their location, to receive the Tier 1 reimbursement rate for all meals and snacks. This will be effective July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022.
Nationwide Waiver of Area Eligibility in the Afterschool Programs and for Family Day Care Home Providers in School Year 2021-2022: This waiver allows flexibilities so the full implementation of grains ounce equivalents will be extended beyond October 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.
Here are the links to the CACFP waivers:
Note: As with most of these nationwide waivers during the pandemic, the states have to opt in.
Cross-post with CACFP Roundtable: https://www.ccfproundtable.org/post/usda-publishes-new-and-extended-waivers-for-cacfp
Early next week Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) plans to reintroduce the Access to Healthy Food for Young Children Act. Fact sheet about the Access to Healthy Food for Young Children Act.
Take action: Sign on in support of this bill here.
Why it matters:
This bill is part of Congress's Child Nutrition Reauthorization process, which hasn't happened in over 10 years! The Access to Healthy Food for Young Children Act is the bill CACFP has been waiting for. It includes policy improvements for the entire program, including:
1 in 4 children in the U.S. faces hunger because of the pandemic. Now is the time to make improvements to #CACFP to help our kids get healthier, not hungrier. Join us in supporting @SenBobCasey #ChildNutrition bill. https://bit.ly/32qnrcl
Strengthening #CACFP to support #childcare providers as they provide nutritious foods to young children is a no brainer. Join us in supporting @SenBobCasey #ChildNutrition bill. https://bit.ly/32qnrcl
@SenBobCasey introduced a #ChildNutrition bill that strengthens #CACFP in a myriad of ways: allowing an additional meal, increased meal reimbursements and more! Join us in supporting @SenBobCasey #ChildNutrition bill. https://bit.ly/32qnrcl
Join our partners at the CACFP Roundtable in telling your stories. Share your CACFP & COVID-19 stories and/or lessons learned as we continue to advocate for sponsors, providers and the children and adults served by #CACFP. Your voice, your experience matters and can shape the future of this essential program.
The CACFP Leadership and Policy track at the Anti-Hunger Policy Conference was once again motivating and inspiring this year. We heard from Secretary Vilsack, Senators Stabenow and Boozman, USDA Leadership and experts in the CACFP field. Secretary Vilsack shared the guiding principles of USDA under his leadership which are:
President Biden will soon sign the American Rescue Plan after it was approved by the Senate earlier today. In this plan comes much needed relief for child care and afterschool programs!
We congratulate all of the advocates on the provisions in the American Rescue Plan that provide the billions of dollars in relief for both child care and afterschool.
What does it include for child care?
Secretary Vilsack is no stranger to USDA and our federal nutrition programs! Tom Vilsack was confirmed by the Senate for a second round of the Cabinet post as Secretary of USDA in the Biden administration. Mr. Vilsack was the Secretary of USDA for 8 years under the Obama administration.
We'll be joining our friends at FRAC, the CCFP Roundtable and many other anti-hunger and anti-poverty advocates on 2/22/21 to tell Congress to Pass the American Rescue Plan. There's a toolkit to help share on social media and everything. Take a look at FRAC's action alert (link)! Call your Members of Congress on Monday and join the tweetstorm on Monday from 1:00 p.m.-2:00p.m. Eastern.
In December, CACFP emergency funding was passed in the latest stimulus package. In January, USDA released guidelines for how the emergency operational cost reimbursement program is going to work. Now, it is in the states hands to apply, follow a timeline, and tell USDA how they plan to disburse the funds.
The National CACFP Forum and CCFP Roundtable have worked together to provide recommendations to the States "to develop a disbursement plan that is easy to navigate and without undue burden on CACFP sponsors and sites." At the highest level, the recommendations include:
Read the full letter and details of the recommendations here. The Forum and the Roundtable are sharing this letter with the CACFP community in the hopes that it will be a resource the CACFP community can use to start your own conversations with your states.
The Roundtable has provided this letter to the California Department of Education and USDA Western Region Office.
CACFP Responses to COVID-19: Lessons Learned, Residual Issues, and Outstanding Concerns