Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas’ Kids Summer Food Program (KSF) may be more widely known throughout our agency for distributing and delivering free meals to children. But nutritious meals for children are available year-round through our federally-funded Child & Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). CACFP has been part of our agency’s service offerings since the fall of 2010.
CACFP is a U.S.D.A. Food and Nutrition Service that provides free, healthy snacks and meals to eligible children at after-school enrichment programs. Qualifications are similar to KSF, kids and teens must be 18 years or younger to access the service.
Catholic Charities is a sponsor organization for CACFP. We partner with community centers, organizations, and schools to provide the meals and materials needed to successfully operate meal sites. Meals are delivered to seven participating enrichment program locations across our 21-county service region.
All meals distributed follow the U.S.D.A. meal regulations for children, which require two fruits and vegetables, one grain, one meat/meat alternative, and milk. Meals are shelf-stable options, like PB&J, wheat crackers, sunflower seeds, applesauce, 100% juice box, and milk.
“This after school program ensures that at-risk students receive a healthy third meal at a safe location,” said Chanel Griffin, Catholic Charities’ Food and Nutrition Coordinator. “Our partnership with enrichment programs helps fill in the gap for children that may not have access to healthy meals.”
— Chanel Griffin, Food and Nutrition Coordinator