WEST ORANGE, N.J. – New Jersey Department of Agriculture Secretary Douglas Fisher and USDA Mid-Atlantic Regional Office Administrator Dr. Patty Bennett were among those today who honored Programs for Parents in Essex County for its Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) with a visit to the organization’s office in West Orange.
Programs for Parents was established in 1984 and is a non-profit organization. It supports children, families, and childcare providers in Essex County through advocacy and action, providing education and referrals, sharing best practices, and helping families access available financial resources.
“Programs for Parents’ unwavering commitment and support for families is providing access for positive outcomes,” Secretary Fisher said. “While their guidance is making a difference now, it is also establishing a foundation for a better future.”
Programs for Parents was presented with a CACFP Achievement Award by Dr. Bennett for its outstanding work.
“We are proud to recognize Programs for Parents with a 2022 CACFP Achievement Award and extend a special thanks to their dedicated staff who are working hard to ensure nutrition security for New Jersey’s children and adults,” said USDA, FNS, Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Dr. Patty Bennett. “Thousands of young children as well as adults in the Essex County area struggle with food insecurity. The CACFP safeguards those in need by providing nutritious meals, nutritional education, and support to maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
The focus of Programs for Parents is strengthening families, so children get the best possible start in life. They serve more than 1,200 childcare providers in Essex County and provide childcare financial assistance to over 10,000 children monthly. It is estimated they have provided services to over 200,000 children and families over the years.
“Through the support of the USDA and the State, our mission is being realized,” Programs for Parents’ CEO, Dr. Beverly Lynn said. “We work tirelessly to do all that we can to assist children, families and childcare providers in Essex County.”
In New Jersey, the CACFP provides meals and snacks to nearly 75,000 eligible participants at shelters, childcare centers, family childcare homes, after-school care programs and adult care centers with more than 700 sponsors. The program is federally funded and administered by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.
Nationally, childcare providers and centers participating in CACFP implement funding for more than 2 billion meals and snacks to nearly 5 million children daily and more than 115,000 elderly persons in adult day care.
National CACFP Week is in the spring each year and is an educational and informational campaign designed to raise awareness of how the Child and Adult Care Food Program works to combat hunger. The program brings healthy foods to the table for adults in day care and children in childcare homes, centers, and in after-school feeding programs across the country.
To learn more about New Jersey’s Child and Adult Care Food Program, visit http://bit.ly/1FwqWwB or call 609-984-1250.
–Jeff Wolfe, NJDA