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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Marshall

Introduced in Congress Today! Bipartisan CACFP legislation that adds an extra meal and more

Today, Representative Bonamici (D-OR) and Representative Molinaro (R-NY) introduced the Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act. This legislation does a number of positive things for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). These provisions include:

  1. Adds the extra meal for CACFP reimbursement

  2. Makes annual reimbursement determination for family child care providers the same as child care centers (using food away from home within the Consumer Price Index)

  3. For-profit child care centers are eligible on an annual basis in place of determining eligibility on a monthly basis

  4. Secretary of USDA to review the CACFP Serious Deficiency Process

  5. Establishes an Advisory Committee on CACFP Paperwork

This bill improves access to CACFP by enabling for-profit centers to be eligible for one whole year instead of dropping on and off the program based on changes in the incomes of families enrolled or of the schools around them.

This bill improves the CACFP operator experience by requiring the Secretary of USDA to review the Serious Deficiency process. The Advisory Committee which is meant to build upon technologies and practices to lessen or eliminate the required paperwork.

This bill also improves CACFP reimbursement by allowing the extra meal to be claimed for reimbursement removing the burden from the pocket of the provider. It also improves the way that family child care providers’ reimbursement rates are set which will stay closer tied to the cost of food.

You may be remembering the recent introduction of the Child Nutrition Enhancement Act. This bill is fabulous too and they ask for different things. It's ok and it’s good to support both and ask for support for both. We get to have a lot of reasons to educate Congress about CACFP with these bills. Let’s keep going!

Now is the time to tell your U.S. Representative to support the Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act!

Here’s how you can do that:

Please call your U.S. Representative ( and tell the staff person that answers the phone:

  • Each day, more than 4.2 million children have nutritious meals and snacks through CACFP.

  • Good nutrition in the first years of life is essential for early brain development, and research indicates that meals and snacks served in CACFP-participating child care programs are of higher quality than in non-CACFP programs.

  • I am proud of the healthy meals I serve.

  • The caregiving workforce in Early Head Start, Head Start, child care centers, family child care, and after-school programs is working tirelessly to ensure children do not go hungry and continue to have opportunities to learn and grow.

  • CACFP reimbursements help me with some of the costs of providing a meal and make it so that I don’t have to ask families to pay extra for all of the healthy meals in my program.

And if you are able to express support for legislation, include:

  • Please co-sponsor the Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act, introduced by Representative Bonamici from Oregon and Representative Molinaro from Oregon.

  • Without your support, we will see an increase in young children and even providers themselves going to bed hungry. We will also see more burdens placed on working families.


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