National CACFP Week is Coming Up – Are You Ready?
February 1, 2023
CACFP Week is a national education and information campaign sponsored annually the third week of March by the National CACFP Sponsors Association. The campaign is designed to raise awareness of how the USDA's Child and Adult Care Food Program works to combat hunger.
The goal of the CACFP is to serve nutritious meals to children in child care homes, centers and afterschool programs, as well as adults in day care. Secondary goals include the establishment of positive eating habits at the earliest stages of development, reduction of future health care and education costs that are due to lack of proper early development, and training and support of local child care personnel. Research also indicates that the CACFP is an indicator of quality child care.
This year, CACFP Week will be celebrated from March 12-18, 2023. Once again, we're partnering with Sesame Street in Communities to bring you some amazing resources! So how do you participate? Here are eight ways that you can make the most out of this year's CACFP Week.
1. Register for National CACFP Week
We love seeing your support for the Child and Adult Care Food Program, so we've created an event in our calendar that you can register for. This will put you on our email list to make sure you get all the materials you need to celebrate CACFP Week. There's more in it for you, too! First, we'll send you a complimentary CACFP Week Sample Menu. Registering will also your name into a drawing for a gift basket valued at over $600, which includes a $250 gift card, registration to the National Child Nutrition Conference Virtual Option, a CACFP Week apron, a measuring cups & spoons set, and 25 copies each of the latest Child Nutrition Today Magazine, CACFP Meal Pattern Cards and CACFP Infant Meal Pattern Cards.
2. Watch Our Sneak Peek Webinar
We hosted a free webinar called Food Program Fun: CACFP Week At-a-Glance. We'll help you prepare for the campaign, and you'll discover how you can celebrate and raise awareness for the CACFP within your network. You can still watch this on demand for free!
3. Check Out Our Free Webinar Series
New this year! We're hosting a free webinar on each weekday of CACFP Week centered around our theme of Community, Advocacy, Children, Food Program and Participate. Each webinar will be held from 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm Eastern and will provide 0.5 hours of Continuing Education Units.
Monday, March 13: Community | Building Healthy Bodies with the Foods We Serve
Learn what fruits, vegetables, grains, meat/meat alternatives and fluid milk do for the body.
Tuesday: March 14: Advocacy | Good News! Sharing Your CACFP Story
Hear stories about what the CACFP community is doing to raise awareness about the CACFP!
Wednesday, March 15: Children | Healthy and Strong with Sesame Street
Learn about new resources featuring furry friends from your favorite Street.
Thursday, March 16: Food Program | Explore New Foods with a Taste Testing Adventure
Learn how you can introduce new foods through various taste testing strategies.
Friday, March 17: Participate | Tools and Resources for CACFP Success
Learn how to use these CACFP resources to promote nutrition and physical activities in the CACFP.
4. Take to Social Media
You can download social media images and banners that you can use on various platforms. Tell us why the CACFP is important to you! Be sure to tag us @NationalCACFP and use the hashtag #CACFPWeek to spread the most awareness among your network.
We also encourage CACFP providers to take part in our Social Media Challenge! For a chance to win $100, simply post a #CACFPCreditable snack, tag the @NationalCACFP account and use the hashtags #NCASnack and #CACFPWeek. We'll announce a winner at the start of the next week!
5. Spread the Word in Your Community and Beyond
We have more great materials that you can use to be an advocate for the CACFP. You can find advocacy templates that include a press release, a letter to Congress and a request for proclamation, as well as a community outreach flyer and promotional materials for providers and sponsors. If you're an NCA member, you can also download a parent newsletter template (available in both English and Spanish) that you can send home to inform families of why it is so important that you operate the CACFP.
6. Teach Your Participants About Healthy Foods
We have a variety of activity pages and educational PDFs that you can use to teach your participants, young and older alike, why it's important to eat healthy foods. We've got free activity pages - one set with Sesame Street characters and one that is not branded - and our members have access to a variety of educational PDFs, including Trying New Foods, Fourteen Ways to Try Broccoli, Breakfast, Lunch/Supper, and Snack. We also rolled out a new resource this year called What Do Components Do for the Body? which is available to our NCA members.
7. Share Your Story
How do you operate the CACFP? Submit your story to our CACFP Week in Action blog and inspire others to participate in the CACFP!
8. Certify Your Awesomeness
You've made it to the end of CACFP Week, so this is a great time to give yourself and your colleagues a pat on the back for a job well done. We appreciate all the hard work you put into operating the CACFP throughout the entire year. That's why we have Certificates of Awesomeness for you! You can download them with Sesame Street on them or there are also non-branded certificates available. Each set has a certificate for child care and adult care, and both are also provided in English and Spanish.