Bright from the Start seeks facilities for food program

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Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) is seeking eligible child and adult care facilities to participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The CACFP is a federally-funded U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrition program available to child care centers, adult day care centers, Head Start programs, emergency shelters, and before- and after-school programs. The program reimburses approved facilities for nutritious meals and snacks served to children and adults in care.

Approved or exempt institutions that offer a structured after-school program with educational or enrichment activities may be eligible to participate in the At-Risk Afterschool component of the CACFP. This program reimburses institutions that serve nutritious after-school snacks and/or a supper meal to children up to 18 years old in a structured environment after school hours. The afterschool program must be located in a low-income area where 50% or more of the children at the nearest school receive free or reduced-price meals. Qualifying eligibility data can be found on DECAL’s website at http://decal.ga.gov/Nutrition/EligibilityData.aspx.

Federal income guidelines determine a participant’s eligibility for free and reduced-price meals through the CACFP. Children who receive benefits through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) are automatically eligible to receive free meals through the CACFP. Adults who receive SNAP benefits, FDPIR benefits, or Social Security Income (SSI) or are Medicaid participants are categorically eligible for free meals.

Sonja Adams, DECAL’s Director of Provider Services for the Nutrition Division, stressed the importance of the program.

“Access to healthy and well-balanced meals contribute to both child and adult wellness; the CACFP provides childcare facilities, adult care facilities, shelters, afterschool programs and other eligible facility types with a powerful tool in combating childhood and senior hunger,” Adams said. “It is extremely important that more eligible facilities participate in the program so that children and adults across the state have access to nutritious meals they may not get otherwise.”

 

To learn more about participating in the CACFP, contact Cindy Kicklighter at cindy.kicklighter@decal.ga.gov or 404-656-3221. To find a CACFP facility or sponsor, visit the DECAL website at http://www.decal.ga.gov/Nutrition/Search.aspx. Use the search function (zip code or county) for a list of all local facilities and sponsors, addresses, maps, contact names, and phone numbers.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

 

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

 

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

1400 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

Fax: 202-690-7442

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