WASHINGTON, Nov. 19, 2010 —Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced Child Care Wellness Grants to 14 states for the improvement of health and wellness in child care settings. More than $7.7 million in funding will support state agencies in implementing initiatives through the Child and Adult Care Food Program. Over half of the funds awarded will be distributed to local child care sponsoring organizations and institutions through state agencies.
"Local efforts have the greatest promise to develop, test, and implement successful programs to promote health and nutrition improvement in childcare settings" said Vilsack. "These grants will inspire innovative improvements to enhance nutrition and promote physical activity of the children in these states and communities."
The Child and Adult Care Food Program plays a vital role in improving the quality of child care and in making care more affordable for low-income families. Through CACFP, more than 3.3 million infants and children and 112,000 adults receive nutritious meals and snacks each day.
During the grant period, ranging from two to three years, states will fund activities that promote nutrition and physical activity in child care that reflect the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the most recent scientific knowledge; provide technical assistance and training to sponsors and providers of child care centers and family and group day care homes; perform outreach campaigns that increase access to the program in underserved areas and populations; and/or make innovative use of technology to provide training to sponsoring organizations and child care providers.
The 14 states receiving grants are:
District of Columbia
Strengthening the Child Nutrition and National School Lunch Acts, which authorize USDA's child nutrition programs including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, is the legislative centerpiece of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign. This legislation will help battle hunger and food insecurity during the school day while providing critical resources to raise a generation of healthy children.
USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the child nutrition programs, that touch the lives of one in four Americans over the course of a year. These programs work in concert to form a national safety net against hunger.