TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Department of Agriculture Secretary Fisher, NJDA Food and Nutrition Division Director Rose Tricario and local officials commemorated Child and Adult Care Food Program Week with visits to Union and Middlesex Counties.
The Union County visit highlighted the breakfast program at Circle of Friends Inc. in Springfield Township, which feeds approximately 150 adults breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack each day. The Middlesex County visit featured the Acelero Learning Monmouth/Middlesex Inc. location in North Brunswick, which feeds approximately 60 children per day and is one of the nine Acelero Centers that combines to feed nearly 1,000 children daily through the CACFP.
“These two locations are excellent examples of how the Child and Adult Care Food Program provides needed nourishment to thousands of New Jersey children and adults,” Secretary Fisher said. “We encourage child or adult day care centers and emergency shelters to participate in this program as it is an avenue that allows for those involved to develop or continue healthy eating habits.”
Circle of Friends and Acelero Learning were each given a CACFP Achievement Award from the USDA for their outstanding work.
“The CACFP greatly enhances our ability to serve healthy food to those in need in our area,” said Circle of Friends Administrator Irina Rivkin. “Part of our mission is to ensure that a quality meal is readily available and the CACFP plays a significant role in making that a reality.”
A new part of the Acelero Learning program is installing school gardens at each of their centers. After a successful pilot program at their South Amboy location last year, Acelero is looking to expand the garden program this year.
“The CACFP is very important to our program and has benefited the children by teaching them how to choose healthy foods to eat,” Acelero Learning Centers Executive Director Amanda Colon said. “We hope the school gardens can be the next step for children in understanding where food comes from and how it is grown.”
Governor Murphy proclaimed March 17-23 as Child and Adult Care Food Program Week in New Jersey, based on National CACFP Week, a national education and information campaign designed to raise awareness of how the Child and Adult Care Food Program works to combat hunger. The program also brings healthy foods to the table for adults in day care and children in child care homes, centers, and in afterschool feeding programs across the country.
In New Jersey, the CACFP provides meals and snacks to 142,727 eligible participants at shelters, day care centers, family day care homes, after-school care programs and adult day care centers under 686 sponsors in New Jersey. The program is federally funded and administered by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.
Nationally, child care providers and centers participating in CACFP provide meals to 4.2 million children and 130,000 elderly or disabled adults each day.
— New Jersey Department of Agriculture