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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Marshall

August Recess: Advocate for improving CACFP, visit with Congress members while they're home & invite them to your programs

Every August members of Congress return to their home districts from Washington D.C. for the August recess. This is a prime time to engage with your Senators and Representatives. This year is exciting because we have specific asks of our congresspeople; four bills have been introduced in Congress that could improve the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).


The Ask

If you are meeting with your representative in the House, you want to check to see if they have cosponsored these two bills.

  • HR 5569, The Child Care Nutrition Enhancement Act

  • HR 6067, The Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act

If they have signed on to cosponsor the bill(s), say thank you and tell them your experiences and why it is important to continue to champion these bills. If they have only cosponsored one of them or neither of them, tell them the difference it would make for you to have the improvements in the other bill, and ask them to consider cosponsoring the bill.


And the same with your Senator(s). The Senate bills are:

  • S. 3294 The Child Nutrition Enhancement Act

  • S. 4002 The Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act


You can find what is in each bill here.


How Do I Know Who My Congressperson is and How Do I Know if They've Cosponsored a Bill?


  • You can find your members of Congress by inserting your address here.

  • This table has links to "cosponsors." Click on that for each bill and see if your congressperson is listed. If they are not, they have not cosponsored the bill. Cosponsoring means that they are championing the bill and publicly showing their support.


How to Engage

The most powerful way to engage with a representative is to invite them to your program and show them what it looks like to prepare and serve a meal for the children and/or adults in your settings. It is powerful for them to see that CACFP is more than just an acronym or a complicated federal nutrition program. It is helpful to move beyond words and see what is happening on the ground. The healthy meals, the smiles, the conversation, the shared meal - it makes a difference.


Not sure how to approach inviting a Congressperson to your program? The National CACFP Sponsors Association ((NCA) put together some resources to help you do this. You can find materials for how to invite them and how to host them here.


Calling or scheduling a visit in their office is powerful as well, whatever makes you feel most comfortable to talk with them is what you should do. There are materials to help you do that on NCA's website as well.


Let us know how we can help you! samantha@ccfproundtable.org



 

Join us in October to talk about advocacy, program management, and wellness at the Annual CACFP Conference. Learn all about it here.





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