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Meal Pattern Minute: Crediting Pickles

March 9, 2023

Cucumbers credit as a vegetable in the CACFP, so what about pickles?

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Just Our Luck! Four Fun Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

March 8, 2023

Whether you love wearing green, have Irish origins, or are remembering the patron saint of Ireland, there are so many ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with those in your care! We have four fantastic ideas that you could try at your center or family child care home that are low budget and easy to do.

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Guidance on Performance Standards, Budgets, and Management Plans in the Summer Food Service Program

March 7, 2023

In September 2022, FNS published the Final Rule: Streamlining Program Requirements and Improving Integrity in the SFSP. Compliance with the provisions of the rule must begin by May 1, 2023. The USDA released a memo to provide guidance for state agencies and program operators on SFSP performance standards, budgets, and management plans which were aligned with other child nutrition programs through the final rule.

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Meal Pattern Minute: Potato Chips

March 3, 2023

We know that potatoes credit as a vegetable in the CACFP, but what about potato chips?

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Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023: Effect on Child Nutrition Programs

March 3, 2023

Summer EBT will provide EBT benefits on an ongoing basis to low-income children during the summer months to ensure continued access to meals and snacks when school is not in session. For 2024, benefits are an amount equal to $40 per month per eligible child during the summer operational period.

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First National ECE Workforce Center Launched

March 1, 2023

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the launch of the new National Early Care and Education Workforce Center. The ECE Workforce Center is the result of a $30 million investment to support research and technical assistance for states, communities, territories, and Tribal Nations to improve the recruitment and retention of a diverse and qualified workforce across early care and education programs.

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Upcoming Virtual Events in June

May 30, 2024

Check out these virtual events coming up this month at NCA!

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Upcoming Virtual Events in May

May 2, 2024

Check out these virtual events coming up this month at NCA!

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Earn CPEUs at the National Child Nutrition Conference

April 25, 2024

We’re thrilled to inform you that the 2024 National Child Nutrition Conference offers an excellent opportunity for you to earn Continuing Professional Education Units (CPEUs) while immersing yourself in a world of learning and networking.

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Additional Scholarship Recipients Announced for #NCNC24

March 22, 2024

The National CACFP Sponsors Association is excited to introduce the newest group of scholarship winners for the 2024 National Child Nutrition Conference!

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Celebrate Child Care Providers Serving Nutritious Meals in Your Community

March 7, 2024

Next week is National Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Week! Over 138,000 child and adult care providers serve nutritious meals to over 4.5 million children and adults every day with the help of 24,000 supporting institutions. Join us in celebrating throughout the week.

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Upcoming Virtual Events

February 29, 2024

Check out these virtual events coming up at NCA!

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Geographic Preference Expansion Related to the Final Rule

May 22, 2024

This memorandum provides a detailed explanation of the expanded geographic preference option. CNP operators, State agencies purchasing for CNPs, and the USDA Department of Defense Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (USDA DoD Fresh) may use local as a specification and continue to set a geographic preference when soliciting or buying unprocessed agricultural products.

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NCA Response – Proposed Rule for the Serious Deficiency Process

May 17, 2024

In February 2024, USDA released the proposed rule Serious Deficiency Process in the CACFP and SFSP. After meeting with members and extensive research NCA has submitted our response to USDA stating our position on the proposed changes.

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Addressing Child Hunger When School is Out 

May 14, 2024

While summer is a time for relaxation and vacation for some, it is a time of great uncertainty for many children who experience food insecurity. Afterschool and on the weekend, children are also unsure of where their meals will come from. That’s where Child Nutrition Programs step in.

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NCA Commends USDA Improvements to Child Nutrition Programs

May 13, 2024

Last month, USDA released a final rule to better align Child Nutrition Programs with the 2020-2025 DGAs. NCA is glad to see such positive changes made to Child Nutrition Programs and commends USDA for their leadership in improving program vital to child food security.

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Comment Requested – Serious Deficiency Process in the CACFP & SFSP

May 9, 2024

USDA has requested comments on their proposed rule for the Serious Deficiency process for CACFP and SFSP. They need your feedback to help them determine what changes to make!

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Updates to Nutrition Requirements in CACFP & SFSP

April 24, 2024

The USDA recently released a Final Rule that better aligns meal patterns in the CACFP, SFSP, and School Meals with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

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More Native Foods Added to the Food Buying Guide

September 6, 2023

The Child and Adult Care Food Program has new creditable foods listed on the USDA Food Buying Guide! If you are new to the FBG, this interactive tool allows for easy display, search, and navigation of food yield information. In addition, users can compare yield information, create a favorite foods list, and access tools, such as the Recipe Analysis Workbook (RAW) and the Product Formulation Statement Workbook.

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We’re Expanding Our Spanish-Language Resources!

August 2, 2023

The Child and Adult Care Food Program community asked for more Spanish resources to be available on the National CACFP Sponsors Association website and we heard you! Available now in Spanish are more resources to help sponsors and providers with meal pattern requirements, best practices, and so much more!

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Program Comparison Chart: CACFP At-Risk Afterschool and SFSP

June 21, 2023

Serving meals to young people year-round benefits children, families, and care providers. To do this, many providers transition from operating the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) At-Risk Afterschool (ARAS) during the school year to the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) while school is out. For an overview of the main differences between SFSP and CACFP ARAS, see the comparison chart below.

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NCA Support as Covid-19 Flexibilities Come to an End

June 16, 2023

NCA understands that the end of flexibilities will cause challenges for many CACFP sponsors and providers and we commend your continued commitment to providing nutritious meals and snacks to the children or adults in your care. In preparation for the end of the additional reimbursement, we have collected the following resources to help you successfully provide meals even if your available budget decreases.

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New Feature Available on the Exhibit A Grains Tool

March 22, 2023

The Exhibit A Grains Tool has a new feature that allows users to select their Program and Meal to filter the search results to only creditable grain items for their specific Program.

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New Factsheet for ECE Providers from the CDC

March 16, 2023

CDC created three new fact sheets for Early Care and Education (ECE) providers about Early Child Nutrition and Feeding. The fact sheets offer tips and best practices for supporting breastfeeding families, information about safe storage and handling of breastmilk, and strategies for introducing solid foods.

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Meal Pattern Minute: May Contain Statement on Nut-Free Products

May 24, 2024

Is a manufacturer required to report if a nut-free product was made in a facility that processes nuts?

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Meal Pattern Minute: Identifying Allergens on Food Packaging

May 17, 2024

Where can you find allergens listed on a food’s packaging?

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Meal Pattern Minute: Top 9 Food Allergens

May 10, 2024

What are the top nine most common food allergens?

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Meal Pattern Minute: Meal Counts During Family Style Dining

May 3, 2024

When serving a meal family style in the CACFP, when are meal counts taken?

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Meal Pattern Minute: Reimbursement for Family Style Dining

April 26, 2024

Can a family style meal be reimbursed if a child does not serve themself all of the food components offered?

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Meal Pattern Minute: Preparing Children for Family Style Dining

April 19, 2024

What can you do outside of meal service to prepare children for family style dining?

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More Native Foods Added to the Food Buying Guide

September 6, 2023

The Child and Adult Care Food Program has new creditable foods listed on the USDA Food Buying Guide! If you are new to the FBG, this interactive tool allows for easy display, search, and navigation of food yield information. In addition, users can compare yield information, create a favorite foods list, and access tools, such as the Recipe Analysis Workbook (RAW) and the Product Formulation Statement Workbook.

Read More

We’re Expanding Our Spanish-Language Resources!

August 2, 2023

The Child and Adult Care Food Program community asked for more Spanish resources to be available on the National CACFP Sponsors Association website and we heard you! Available now in Spanish are more resources to help sponsors and providers with meal pattern requirements, best practices, and so much more!

Read More

Program Comparison Chart: CACFP At-Risk Afterschool and SFSP

June 21, 2023

Serving meals to young people year-round benefits children, families, and care providers. To do this, many providers transition from operating the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) At-Risk Afterschool (ARAS) during the school year to the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) while school is out. For an overview of the main differences between SFSP and CACFP ARAS, see the comparison chart below.

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NCA Support as Covid-19 Flexibilities Come to an End

June 16, 2023

NCA understands that the end of flexibilities will cause challenges for many CACFP sponsors and providers and we commend your continued commitment to providing nutritious meals and snacks to the children or adults in your care. In preparation for the end of the additional reimbursement, we have collected the following resources to help you successfully provide meals even if your available budget decreases.

Read More

New Feature Available on the Exhibit A Grains Tool

March 22, 2023

The Exhibit A Grains Tool has a new feature that allows users to select their Program and Meal to filter the search results to only creditable grain items for their specific Program.

Read More

New Factsheet for ECE Providers from the CDC

March 16, 2023

CDC created three new fact sheets for Early Care and Education (ECE) providers about Early Child Nutrition and Feeding. The fact sheets offer tips and best practices for supporting breastfeeding families, information about safe storage and handling of breastmilk, and strategies for introducing solid foods.

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Healthy Tots Helps Address Food Insecurity in D.C.

April 18, 2024

Across the nation, racial inequities have impacted access to federal nutrition programs for people of color. The report by D.C. Hunger Solutions aims to address how racial inequities contribute to hunger and poverty among residents of color in the District of Columbia and to lack of access to federal nutrition programs.

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Leveraging CACFP for Farm to ECE

February 5, 2024

When combined, the CACFP and Farm to Early Care Education (Farm to ECE) activities can have an extraordinary impact on children, child care providers, and local communities. FRAC’s report aims to support child care providers to access CACFP and utilize it for eligible Farm to ECE activities by highlighting the mutually beneficial synergy between these initiatives.

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CACFP Indicator for State-Level Obesity Prevention

December 19, 2023

The CACFP is an indicator for state-level obesity prevention. The inclusion of the CACFP as an indicator for obesity-prevention shows that the CACFP is an important, recognized factor for proper development in the earliest stages of life.

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CACFP Important Factor for Obesity Prevention

December 6, 2023

The University of Colorado College of Nursing published their 2022 Annual Report on Achieving a State of Healthy Weight. The report determines how state regulations support obesity prevention in licensed ECE programs. It also highlights state successes and identifies opportunities for ECE regulations to improve support of obesity prevention in young children.

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State Agency Perspectives on Administering the CACFP

December 4, 2023

A study was published in October 2023 by the UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Health to explore federal and state policies and practices that support or discourage CACFP participation among child care centers. The report approaches: program outreach and administration, barriers that make CACFP participation challenging, and recommendations to expand access to CACFP for eligible providers.

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Untapped Potential: License-Exempt Home-Based Child care Providers

November 29, 2023

A study was published in October 2023 by the Urban Institute to identify major gaps in the CACFP’s coverage and ability to reach children. The study specifically focused on CACFP eligibility for small home-based child care providers who are legally exempt from their state’s child care licensing requirements.

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On a Mission to Feed Children and Adults in Care

May 29, 2024

Hear from three outstanding CACFP sponsoring organizations about the work that they do with CACFP providers to ensure the children and adults in their care receive nutritious meals.

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Sponsor Spotlight: Kate Abernathy of Providers Choice

April 15, 2024

Kate Abernathy is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Providers Choice which is a state-wide sponsoring organization of 3,000 family child care homes and 90 centers in Minnesota. Hear from Kate!

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Sponsor Spotlight: Rache Cross of Caring People Alliance

March 26, 2024

Rache Cross is the Senior Director of CACFP at Caring People Alliance which sponsors family child care homes, child care centers, and At-Risk Afterschool sites in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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Celebrate Child Care Providers Serving Nutritious Meals in Your Community

March 7, 2024

Next week is National Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Week! Over 138,000 child and adult care providers serve nutritious meals to over 4.5 million children and adults every day with the help of 24,000 supporting institutions. Join us in celebrating throughout the week.

Read More

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

March 5, 2024

Alix Pasillas is the Executive Director of Food For Kids, Inc. which sponsors 137 child care centers, family child care homes, and adult care centers across Nevada. Learn why Alix thinks Food For Kids is a successful sponsor.

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Sponsor Spotlight: Blake Stanford of Southwest Human Development Services

February 26, 2024

Blake Stanford is the President of Southwest Human Development Services which serves over 850 family child care homes across Texas. Learn why Blake thinks Southwest Human Development Services is a successful sponsor.

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