Healthy snacks = happy kids!

March 16, 2017

It’s National CACFP Week! What’s CACFP? CACFP stands for Child and Adult Care Food Program. It’s a program that’s federally-funded by the United States Department of Agriculture to provide healthy meals and snacks to qualified programs. Here in a Delaware, it’s administered by the Delaware Department of Education. The Food Bank of Delaware plays an active role in the program by sponsoring 63 after-school meal programs. This week we are highlighting after-school programs up and down the state!

Morning and afternoon snacks provided by the Food Bank of Delaware have been staples at Kids Inc. for more than 10 years, and director MaryLu Wilson likes it that way.

Kids Inc. provides before and after-school care from Reformation Lutheran Church in Milford. When school is not in session, full-time care is offered from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.. This is a small facility, by some standards, serving 60 children ranging in age from 5-12 years old.

Ms. Wilson is quick to note that it’s not always the same kids every day. The center is licensed for 120 children, and there’s a waiting list. Who’s there and when depends on the parents’ work schedules and also whether it’s a school day or summer vacation.

During the school year, kids come in after school, put their things away, and look forward to snack time around 3:15 p.m.

“The kids like their snacks, and the Food Bank offers a good variety,” Ms. Wilson says, noting that they particularly love the fresh apples or pears and yogurt.

During the summer months, kids bring their own lunches but enjoy morning snacks provided by the Food Bank.

“Even if they’ve had breakfast, they enjoy the snack,” Ms. Wilson says.

“And kids love the milk. They ask for seconds. They never seem to get full.”

She mentions some administrative benefits to this Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) that the kids don’t see.

“Having the Food Bank do the snacks helps with the cost. If we didn’t do it that way, the cost would be phenomenal. And it’s a very nice program. The Food Bank is easy to work with,” says Ms. Wilson.

For more information about the After-School Nutrition Program, please click here.

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