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Advocate for the CACFP: Host Your Elected Official 

June 5, 2024

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Invite your elected official to visit your program, NOW is the perfect opportunity!  

During the entire month of August, every congressional elected official will be back in their home state or district. Don’t miss this opportunity to advocate for CACFP! Showcasing your program is one of the most impactful ways to advocate for the CACFP. Some elected officials have never heard of the CACFP before, and therefore don’t know about the great work that thousands of providers and operators like you are doing every day.  

Giving your elected official the opportunity to experience the CACFP firsthand will not only make them familiar with the program, but also allow them to interact with those who benefit the most from the CACFP – the kid and/or adults in your care! Invite your elected officials to visit your site to interact with and serve meal/snack to the children or adults in your care.

Why Now? 

It’s recommended that you reach out to your elected official’s office at least four weeks in advance of when you want them to make an appearance. While you might be thinking that there’s plenty of time to wait to invited your elected official, you will have the most success if you send them an invite TODAY! 

Hosting Official Timeline

Who Should You Invite? 

Although both Senators and Congressional Representatives will be in Recess, you are more likely to get your Representative to visit your program.  

Why is that? Well, Senators represent an entire state meaning they have many more constituents vying for their attention. Senators also mainly have office locations in a few major metropolitan areas, which limits their ability to visit other cities/towns. On the other hand, Representatives only represent a district which is a much smaller geographic area and therefore have fewer constituents reaching out to them. Representatives are also more able to reach all areas of their district without too much travel time.  

You can look up all of your federal elected officials here, or your Representative will automatically show up when you send your invite! 

Where Do You Invite Your Representative? 

If you’re a child or adult care provider the answer is simple: invite them to visit your program (center, home, shelter, school). 

If you’re a sponsoring organization you could 1) invite them to your offices for a meeting or event where you invite multiple providers, families, and partners to join you. Or, 2) invite them to tour one of your sites with you. If you chose option 2, be sure to choose a high-preforming site in a convenient location to your Representative’s district office.  

Tip: all Representatives have a website that lists the location of all of their district offices. Simply search their name on the web and you should easily find their website. 


When Should You Have Your Representative Visit? 

Representatives have busy schedules, so it’s best if you leave the date and time flexible for your Representative to visit. Start out by inviting them to visit in August. If they agree to visit, their staff should provide a few dates and times that would work for your Representative. At this point, be sure to select a day of the week when you typically have high participation and choose a time of day when a meal or snack is being served so they can see the full impact of the CACFP. 


Now, How do You Actually Invite Your Representative? 

There are two easy ways you can invite your Representative to visit your program: 1) Using NCA’s Action Center, or 2) Calling their local office. 

We’ve created an Action Center for you to use that already includes a pre-drafted invitation letter. All you have to do is personalize your letter and add your information and the message will be sent directly to your Congressional Representative. 

Another effective strategy for inviting your elected official is by calling their local office. You’ve already done the research and determined where their closest office is located. Now all you have to do is call the phone number for their office and talk to one of their staff members. You may even be able to get something scheduled right then and there, or you may need to send a follow-up email to nail down the details. 


Do You Want More Tips for Hosting Your Representative? 

Luckily, we have an entire webinar that talks through the process step-by-step!  

We also have multiple supplemental resources that are free for you to use, and as always you can reach out to with any questions.