Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? It's pretty fitting that the third week in March is also National CACFP Week! "CACFP Week is a national education and information campaign sponsored annually the third week of March by the National CACFP Sponsors Association. The campaign is designed to raise awareness of how the USDA's Child and Adult Care Food Program works to combat hunger. The CACFP brings healthy foods to tables across the country for children in child care centers, homes, and afterschool programs as well as adults in day care (National CACFP Sponsors Association)."
Three O'clock Project operates as a CACFP Sponsor during the school year to supply healthy meals to after school programs in Louisiana. This program serves an important purpose to families struggling with food insecurity. Children who receive free and reduced-price school meals often go home to little to no food for supper. We are able to bridge that gap because of the CACFP.
What does a CACFP Supper consist of?
All of our meals must meet the USDA's definition, which is a whole grain, vegetable, fruit, protein and milk. This is considered a "meal pattern" and all of our meals served must meet these minimums (including portion sizes).
However, we like to ensure our partners are getting the absolute best meals for the kids in their care. We work with healthy meal vendors across Louisiana to provide daily, fresh meals with high quality ingredients. Our meals come with fresh (not canned) vegetables and whole or sliced fruit. Often we provide two types of veggie or fruit choices, since we know we live in a world of picky eaters!
For an actual breakdown of what our healthy supper meal looks like, look no further! Below are the minimum requirements, according to USDA.
MILK | 1 cup of fat free or 1%
PROTEIN | 2 oz
VEGGIE | 1/2 cup [TOP often offers two veggie choices]
FRUIT | 1/4 cup [TOP has 1/2 cup minimum]
GRAIN | 1 oz [TOP must be whole grain]
Healthy meals! Healthy kiddos! What's not to celebrate? Join us March 14th-20th, 2021 as we celebrate a program that feeds 4.9 million people every day. Head over to cacfp.org for more information on the program, and as always, feel free to reach out to us if you know of an area in need of nutritional support.
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