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CACFP 50th Birthday Celebrated on Capitol Hill with Bipartisan Reception

Congressional members joined in a bipartisan reception on Capitol Hill to acknowledge the tremendous impact the CACFP has made on children’s lives.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA, UNITED STATES, July 11, 2018 / -- The 50th birthday celebration of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), continued in June with Congress. The National CACFP Forum organized a bipartisan reception on Capitol Hill to acknowledge the tremendous impact the food program has made on children’s lives over the years. The National CACFP Forum was joined by national partners, congressional representatives, congressional staff, CACFP operators and advocates to celebrate the past 50 years and look forward to making a great program even better.

Representative Bonamici (D - OR) and Representative Stefanik (R - NY) cosponsored the reception and spoke about the importance of meals provided by the CACFP and the reintroduction of the bipartisan bill, the Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act H.R. 1332. The Early Childhood Nutrition Act H.R. 1332 focuses on expanding participation in the food program by providing the necessary supports for providers to participate, such as authorizing an additional meal or snack for reimbursement and streamlining program operations.

Representative Bonamici emphasized the importance of good nutrition and specifically CACFP’s role in readying children for kindergarten. “We know how important it is for families to have access to good nutrition. It is important for their wellbeing and if we are going to break the cycle of poverty we need to make sure that kids get that nutrition. It is really hard for kids to learn when they’re hungry. We know that these early childhood programs are a very critical part of their start to early learning and their brain development.”

Over 4 million children were served nutritious meals and snacks in 2017 because of the CACFP. The CACFP is an essential federal child nutrition program that provides nutritious meals and snacks to children and adults in a variety of settings including child care, Head Start, adult day care, after school/at-risk, homeless shelters and more. This means that communities with these participating programs are provided: additional economic supports, quality child care programs, childhood obesity prevention and meals to fight childhood food insecurity. “Thirteen million children struggle with food insecurity…programs like CACFP are crucial in the fight against childhood hunger,” stated Representative Jim McGovern (D – MA), “I will continue working with the champions of this program, those of you in this room, to assure that CACFP can continue working to reverse trends in childhood obesity and improve health through better nutrition and increase physical activity.”

The Forum’s national partners, the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC), the American Federation for State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) joined the representatives in remarks about the impact the CACFP has made over the last 50 years as well as the importance of talking about those successes with our local, state and federal legislative representatives. “Meal service is a major part of program budgets and families are relying on meals served to their children in child care,” said Mary Beth Salomone-Testa representing NAFCC, “CACFP is a lifeline for them.”

In addition to the remarks made by representatives and national partners, the four foot CACFP mosaic birthday card was completed. This mosaic was made up of photos submitted throughout the nation by the CACFP community – providers, state agencies, CACFP sponsors, afterschool/at-risk programs and more. This was a way for the National CACFP Forum to bring the community to the Hill, to show Congress and national stakeholders what CACFP is made of.

“At times, the crucial impact the CACFP has on millions of children across the nation is overlooked because it’s a part of larger umbrella of federal child nutrition programs,” states Samantha Marshall, Executive Director of the National CACFP Forum, “the CACFP 50th birthday celebration as a whole, and especially the reception with Congress on Capitol Hill, was a wonderful opportunity for the CACFP community to come together and talk about the role this essential little known program has in healthy child development across our country.”

For more information about the CACFP 50th Birthday Celebration and more ways to engage with CACFP visit

Samantha Kay-Daleiden Marshall
National Child and Adult Care Food Program Forum
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