March 14, 2014
LANSING – With over 155,000 nutritious meals served to Michigan kids last year, next week’s celebration of National Child and Adult Food Program (CACFP) Week will focus on spinach, apples, low-fat milk and other healthy choices for children.
The theme of this National CACFP Week, March 16-22, 2014, is “Raising Awareness Across the Nation” of the importance healthy meals play in contributing to a quality education for America’s schoolchildren.
“CACFP Week presents an excellent opportunity to emphasize research that proper nutrition in children not only contributes to their physical growth, but also their intellectual and emotional development,” said State Superintendent Mike Flanagan. “Feeding more than 150,000 of Michigan’s kids, many from low-income families, CACFP provides a much-needed service in our schools and other eligible facilities, such as licensed child care centers, Head Start programs, after-school programs and emergency shelters caring for homeless children.
Flanagan said the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) joins other public and private organizations nationwide in observing CACFP Week 2014.
Administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, CACFP provides a daily subsidized food service for an estimated 3.3 million children and 120,000 elderly or mentally or physically impaired adults in non-residential, day-care settings nationwide.
The 30-year-old program’s goal is to improve and maintain the health and nutritional status of children in care while promoting the development of good-eating habits.
Nearly 155,400 free, reduced-price, and fully-paid meals and after-school snacks were served daily to children at almost 7,100 sites in Michigan under the program in 2013. The number of meals served from 2009 to 2013 totals almost 860,000
“We continue to recognize and take great pride in commending the men and women who meet the daily challenge of providing healthy meals to Michigan’s children,” Flanagan said.