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USDA Announces Nationwide Expansion of At-Risk Afterschool Meals in the Child and Adult Care Food Program

Release No.
0013.11

Contact:
USDA Office of Communications (202) 720-4623

Provision to Provide Extra Nutrition Assistance to Children in Child Care Settings

WASHINGTON, Jan. 18, 2010 - USDA today announced the nationwide expansion of at-risk afterschool meals to promote improvements in health and nutrition in Child Care settings. The expansion is part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 signed into law by President Obama on December 13, 2010, and one of the first provisions to be implemented. Under the new legislation, eligible children will receive extra nutrition assistance through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) as eligibility for afterschool meal reimbursement expands to all 50 states.

“Immediately after President Obama signed this historic legislation to improve the health and nutrition of kids across America, we started working to implement and deliver results to those who could benefit from this new law," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Our commitment to increasing access to nutritious food for every American is stronger than ever and that’s why we’re excited about this landmark legislation and will continue to work with states to ensure children have access to critical nutrition programs.” 

CACFP plays a vital role in improving the quality of child care and in making care more affordable to low-income families. Through CACFP, more than 3.2 million infants and children receive nutritious meals and snacks each day.

“This is just one of the critical provisions in the recently passed Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act as it helps millions of kids access healthy food and live a more healthful lifestyle,” said Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, Kevin Concannon. “We know that our Nation’s children who are in need will benefit most from these changes.”

Concannon emphasized the importance of providing reimbursement in all States for meals served to children in low-income areas through the at-risk afterschool care component of CACFP.  Previously, all States were able to reimburse for afterschool snacks, but only 14 States, including the District of Columbia, could also reimburse for a full meal, typically suppers.

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the child nutrition programs.  Improving child nutrition is also a focal point of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act that recently passed Congress and was signed by President Obama on December 13, 2010.  This legislation authorizes USDA’S child nutrition programs, including CACFP, the Summer Food Service Program, and theNational School Lunch Program, which serves nearly 32 million children each day.  It will allow USDA, for the first time in over 30 years, the chance to make real reforms to the school lunch and breakfast programs by improving the critical nutrition and hunger safety net for millions of children. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is the legislative centerpiece of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative. To learn more, visit www.LetsMove.gov . For more information on CACFP, please visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/care/ .