Statement attributed to Jim Weill, president, Food Research & Action Center (FRAC)
WASHINGTON, September 19, 2019 — The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) supports the Access to Healthy Foods for Young Children Act of 2019, introduced by Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA). This bill would strengthen the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and help millions of children in child care access healthy, nutritious food.
Increasing CACFP participation and increasing the availability of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lower-fat dairy products and healthy beverages for young children in child care are essential for development, health, and obesity prevention. The bill would:
- Allow full-day child care programs to serve an additional CACFP meal service (typically a supper or snack);
- Increase CACFP reimbursements by 10 cents per meal and per snack;
- Allow for-profit child care providers to certify their eligibility annually rather than monthly;
- Increase the number of child care centers eligible to participate in CACFP; and
- Allocate $5 million to support the new CACFP healthy meal pattern and beverage best practices.
The bill also directs USDA to reduce unnecessary paperwork resulting from federal and state regulations and recordkeeping requirements, making it easier for child care providers and working parents.
CACFP provides funding for meals and snacks that meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s nutritional standards for children in a variety of child care settings including child care centers, home day child care, Head Start programs, and afterschool programs. Unfortunately, under the current system, CACFP meals and snacks are out of reach for millions of children in child care.
Organizations can endorse the Access to Healthy Foods for Young Children Act of 2019 on FRAC’s sign-on page.
The Food Research & Action Center is the leading national nonprofit organization working to eradicate poverty-related hunger and undernutrition in the United States.