It's often said that change is the only constant in life. It's inevitable, yet we seem to be predisposed to resist change because of the risk associated with it or maybe the amount of time and energy associated with it. Defined; change is the process of causing a function, practice, or thing to become different somehow compared to what it is at present or what it was in the past. Or to alter; to make different, the act or instance of making or becoming different. In CACFP this month change came in many forms.
Change in CACFP Leadership
The National CACFP Forum Board announced Samantha Marshall as the new Executive Director. With a Master's degree in English Literature from Cal State University Long Beach, Ms. Marshall has been working with the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) community for 11 years. Spending most of that time advocating for the program, understanding the needs of the participants on the program and voicing those needs to stakeholders. If her name looks for familiar, for the last seven years she has been busy researching and writing resources for the child care field for the website ChildCareInfo.com. Samantha has advised on various workgroups about the needs of family child care providers, ranging from USDA's FNS CACFP Stakeholder group to Nemours Project HOPE National Advisory Council. The proud mother of two also served on the board of directors of the National Association for Family Child Care for two years and co-founded the national non-profit T&L Foundation to strengthen quality child care through health and wellness initiatives providing mini-grants to family child care providers and sponsors participating on the CACFP. Join us in welcoming Samantha to the Forum. You may reach her at email@example.com.
Sonja Carvalho started in CACFP as a child care provider, an Administrative Manager, at Catholic Charities Maine for 22 years was recently elected as the new Vice President of the National CACFP Forum Board. Sonja has been on the National CACFP Forum Board for over six years and is Conference Co Chair of the National CACFP Leadership Conference. One of her favorite things to do besides CACFP is to spend time with her two sons and grandson. Join us in congratulating her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It was also announced that Senta Hester is the new President and Kati Wagner, Vice President of the National CACFP Sponsor Association. Congratulations!
Change in the CACFP Meal Pattern
October 1, 2017 has come and gone, that means the new CACFP Meal Patterns were implemented, it was official. Everyone was using the new meal patterns. There were changes in the CACFP Meal Patterns which meant that there were changes in; what was creditable in a meal, what was purchased, the age groups, what was served, old recipes/new recipes, how they were eaten, how the meals were recorded, how they were monitored and the processes. In some cases perhaps, there may have been a few moments; once or twice anyway that someone in CACFP was not extremely happy with change. Yes, change is constant and inevitable and sometimes it’s ok to say change is just plain HARD to do and that it will be fine.
Change in Venue
Lucky for many of us a couple of weeks after the start of the implementation the Child Care Food Program Roundtable Conference was held. The timing could not have been better attendees were able to talk to each other, state agencies and USDA about concerns and clarification with the implementation of the changes. Happily, some were able to get answers to many of questions that were already coming up. By the end of conference, thanks to sessions such as the USDA Town Hall Q&A, attendees were feeling better about change especially when they had a moment to look around them. A change in venue brought everyone to Squaw Valley in the fall for a conference with a serene retreat like feel to it. Many left renewed and ready for change.
Sow seeds of change to help the children grow healthy and we shall all reap a harvest.
With every change brings a new opportunity, just don't forget to look for it.