New push to get daycare centers involved in federal food program

The program could allow daycare centers to serve healthier meals while still maintaining their bottom line.
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 4:06 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Colorado is seeing a renewed push to get licensed daycare centers involved in a federal food program.

The Child and Adult Care Food Program reimburses care centers for providing nutritious meals and snacks. Participants in other parts of the country serve over 4.9 million free meals and snacks per day.

Backers say the CAPCFP makes it possible to run a kitchen and make nutritious meals for kids, with the bonus of reducing costs.

Providers are required to follow standards set by the USDA and involvement is optional. Naomi Steenson with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said, “Of course, there are providers that do not use our program. It is a choice to use our program, and we do our best through partnership with many nutrition advocates to raise awareness about the program and the benefits it could bring to their own business, and to the participants they serve.”

The program reimburses providers for meals served on an annual basis, generating an average of $35 million returning to the community.