On June 11th, USDA issued Questions and Answers for Child Nutrition Program Operations in School Year 2021-2022 to clarify questions that arose after the suite of nationwide waivers published in April. These waivers are to address the complexities of feeding children in school and child care as we recover, in different ways, from the pandemic. Be sure to read what the Q&A actually says for the questions below. Has your state applied for the waivers?
As we gear up to share the CACFP story with our congressional leaders heading into the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act, we thought we'd share some fact sheets and reports to help you do that.
A Little Background
Every 5 years congress takes a look at child nutrition programs and determines how they can be better. With the help of advocates like the Forum, FRAC, the CACFP Roundtable and your individual voices - they do things like end block claiming in 2010. This year, it's looking really positive that through the CNR, the CACFP community could get a big win such as allowing an additional meal. The Senate Bill has been introduced which is Access to Healthy Food for Young Children Act. This has in it the extra meal, reducing paperwork and increasing access to the program through different eligibility changes. Tell your members of congress that they should support this bill. All you have to do is fill out this quick form. There is an expectation to have a bill from the house that is similarly good for the food program. Filling out this form is one way to get your congressional leaders attention. Another is to tell your CACFP Story.
Tell the CACFP Story
Another way to get your congressional members attention is to have a meeting with their office - or several - and share with them your experiences. We know that can be kind of scary sometimes so here are some resources that my help you tell the CACFP story with facts and numbers pulled from other reports and fact sheets. Here are some to get you started:
More to Come
We will be providing further resources for you to tell your CACFP Story for CNR and the future! Stay Tuned.
On April 19th, USDA published a Q&A regarding "Child Nutrition Program Oversight, Administration, and Reporting During COVID-19."
The Q&A addresses reviews and reporting for child nutrition programs broadly and then in particular. Broadly the Q&A answers the following questions:
Spoiler Alert: The short answer is no.
Read the memo here.
Cross-post: CACFP Roundtable
Late last month President Biden unveiled the highly anticipated American Families Plan. Unfortunately, the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is not included in the plan. There are, however, many provisions that address childhood hunger and investments in child care.
Some of the provisions that address childhood food insecurity include:
In relation to child care and early learning "The president is proposing to provide a $225 billion investment to address the child care needs of families and providers, $220 billion to expand voluntary preschool access to all 3- and 4-year-olds, and a permanent extension of recent improvements from the American Rescue Plan to various tax credits, including to the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC), among other provisions to help working parents and young children." (First Five Years Fund)
Read "American Families Plan Includes Historic Support and Reforms for the Nation's Early Learning and Child Care System" for more details.
This proposal is separate from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) which is a bill that has been signed and states are submitting their plans to the federal government over the coming weeks providing an overview of how they intend to use those funds. Guidance for how states can use the ARPA funds in the child care sector was published yesterday. View that guidance here.
Take Action with a Quick Form to Tell Your Members of Congress to Support a Bill That Strengthens CACFP
Thank you for taking action! Last week we asked you to take action and endorse a CACFP bill, Access to Healthy Food For Young Children Act, that was being reintroduced in the Senate by Senator Casey.
Now that the bill has been reintroduced to the Senate it's time to tell your members of Congress to support the bill. (link)
How do you do that?
Just fill out this quick form, personalize the email - if you'd like - and click send! This will send an email to your members of congress. Then share the link with your networks!
What Does the Bill do for CACFP?
This critical Act would support healthy nutrition for children in child care through strengthening the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) by:
What Happens Next?
We expect another bill to be introduced in the house in the coming weeks. Keep an eye out for future calls to action! In the meantime, be sure you tell your members of Congress to support this one!
Crosspost: CACFP Roundtable
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: