Having access to proper nutrition promotes early health and brain development for children. The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federal program that provides funds for children in a variety of settings to access the quality nutrition they need to succeed. Each day, CACFP reimbursements provide more than 4.2 million food-insecure children with nutritious meals and snacks. Children in day care centers, Head Start classrooms, in home care, emergency shelters, and after school programs all benefit from CACFP funding.

On Tuesday, CACFP celebrated its 50th birthday with members of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. Representative Stefanik (R-NY) and Representative Bonamici (D-OR) spoke during the celebration at the Capitol about the importance of the program. Providers and state agencies also weighed in on the impact of CACFP. “This program is and has been a lifeline in Alameda County for our providers” wrote a retired program administrator from California.

Throughout CACFP’s 50 year history it has updated its nutrition standards to better align with the Department of Agriculture’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This ensures that children have access to healthy food and can learn about the connection between nutrition and a healthy lifestyle from an early age. Without CACFP, care providers would struggle to provide children with healthy food options. We celebrate all this program has done in its 50-year history to provide millions of children access to healthy food in order to lead successful lives.