The USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) plays a large role in supporting nutrition in child care settings, specifically targeting these benefits to low-income populations. Foods provided to children participating in CACFP programs must meet specific nutrition standards in order to be reimbursed with federal funds. This study seeks to understand how the recently updated CACFP meal patterns match the practical abilities of participating programs to implement them. The study also aims to understand how children’s dietary intakes have changed as a result of the updates. While improving the CACFP meal patterns is of great importance, the reality is that CACFP does not reach all the children who could benefit from the program. Thus, a second aim of this study is to enhance knowledge about access to CACFP in order to improve access to CACFP-funded meals and reduce inequities in food access and health. The study will employ a mixed methods approach that will include both a natural experiment to assess the impact of the updated meal patterns on children’s dietary intakes as well as a national sample that will be used to evaluate inequities in access to CACFP-participating child care centers.
Understanding the lost opportunity of the Child and Adult Care Food Program in improving child nutrition and reducing health inequities
Assessing Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program families' online food purchasing behaviors to inform policies targeting expansion of SNAP benefits
Online grocery services may be a promising strategy to increase food access by creating systems that increase the self-reliance of communities to meet their food needs; however, there may be unintended consequences that should be considered. Despite the potential to increase healthier choices, individuals may purchase more soft drinks and … More
Studying facilitators and barriers in coupon redemption for fruits and vegetables by Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children participants
The Special Supplemental Nutrition program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a federally-funded nutrition assistance program supporting low-income women, infants, and children. The Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) provides WIC clients with coupons to purchase fruits and vegetables from approved farmers markets in addition to their regular WIC benefits. … More
Providing actionable evidence for equity-focused strategies to improve diet quality and food security for low-income pregnant women and for infants
Households with children ages 6 and younger are at a particularly high risk of food insecurity (14.3% food insecure). These are also the households in which new pregnancies are most likely to occur. The Special Supplemental Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is designed to improve the health of … More