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Sponsor Spotlight: Alix Pasillas of Food For Kids, Inc.

Sponsor of Adult Care Centers, Child Care Centers, and Family Child Care Homes

March 5, 2024

Alix Pasillas is the Executive Director (ED) of Food For Kids, Inc. located in Reno, Nevada. Food For Kids is a sponsoring organization (sponsor) of family child care homes, child care centers, and adult care centers across the state of Nevada.  

Although Alix is now the ED of the sponsoring organization, her CACFP journey began as a licensed family child care home provider. After having her first child, Alix became licensed as a home provider caring for six children, plus her own, and served meals to those in her care through the CACFP. Alix was a provider for ten years before becoming a CACFP monitor at Food For Kids in 1998. In 2012, Food For Kids’ Executive Director stepped down and Alix took up the role. As ED, Alix has expanded the reach of Food For Kids by including child and adult care centers under their sponsorship umbrella.  

Alix Pasillas Headshot

When Food For Kids branched out into centers, it was actually at the encouragement of their State Agency. The State Agency was getting too busy to continue to onboard new independent centers and asked Alix to start taking them on. The State Agency helped train Alix on how to successfully sponsor centers and went out on reviews with her. Since then, Food For Kids has grown to sponsor 12 adult care centers, 32 child care centers, and 93 family child care homes that collectively serve healthy meals to over 4,800 children and adults. 

With her previous experience as a family child care home provider on the CACFP, Alix has a first-hand understanding of how beneficial the program is.  

I just felt like I was offering a really great service to the families by being on the food program because they didn’t have to worry about meals and it gave them peace of mind knowing that their kids were getting fed healthy nutritious meals throughout the day. They really appreciate that.” 

From Alix’s perspective, the CACFP helps providers with their business by being able to recover part of their food costs – every little bit counts. The CACFP can also help providers purchase fresh fruits and vegetables and enhance what they’re feeding the children. The program also provides great resources that help providers learn about healthy eating for those in their care.  

Alix believes Food For Kids is a successful sponsor because their staff love the mission of the organization and work really hard to make sure that kids and adults across Nevada are being fed nutritious meals. The staff and providers they work with also understand the importance of maintaining program integrity. Additionally, Alix is very proud of the excellent customer service her team provides and that all of the providers know that they are supported.  

“I want everybody to always be friendly and helpful and my staff is really, really good about that. And, we make sure that we have a quick response time when somebody reaches out with a question. We also are there right away if somebody needs training. If a center calls us up and says, ‘our person who was doing the food program quit, we need to train somebody else,’ then the monitor will go right out and train that person.”  

Food For Kids is the only sponsor of family child care homes and adult care centers in Nevada. With their five staff, Food For Kids is able to offer the opportunity to be on the CACFP to providers across the state. Alix is always encouraging her staff to increase the number of children and adults they are feeding in their state.  Alix highlighted how great it is to be able to get nutritious meals to adult day care centers, as many of the adults attending those programs have a limited income for the month to purchase food. She encourages other sponsors to not be afraid to take on centers and to be persistent. 

Alix’s motivation to continue working with the CACFP is the reminder of what a huge benefit the program is. She highlights a story from a child care center that reached out to her asking to start the CACFP. The child care center at the time was asking parents to send in lunch and snack with their children. The center was disheartened by a family of five children that was sent in with a single can of tomato soup to share for lunch. The first day the center served a meal through the CACFP, those children were surprised by how much food was put in front of them, just for themselves. Alix recognizes how big of an impact the CACFP can have on children and adults who receive nutritious meals that they may not have had access to otherwise.  

In Reno, Nevada, Alix has worked at Food For Kids, Inc. for 26 years.