QCC administers the USDA Child and Adult Food Care Program (CACFP) which reimburses programs for serving high quality meals and snacks. The CACFP is an entitlement program; children served by participating child care programs are from low-income families, those who are most in need of enhanced nutrition. QCC is the largest CACFP sponsor in Georgia and one of the largest and most respected sponsors in the southeast. While the USDA funds the CACFP, QCC plays a critical role in assisting child care programs through the enrollment process and management of the program.
Young children cannot learn as fast or as well without nutritious meals.
Ensured 15,636 children in 851 child care programs received nutritious meals and snacks
"We learned so much about the preparation of the food and how it affects the children. We now know that what and how you serve food is directly tied to children's mental and physical growth. If a child is hungry, he cannot focus or learn and many of our kids do not get good meals until they come to us. Since we began working with QCC, we have seen a noticeable improvement in the children's attitudes as well as that they are excited and open to trying different foods." Evelyn Cookley, Family Literacy Center
QCC serves as a sponsor for the USDA Summer Food Program. This program helps address the "meal gap" issue with many students who receive free or reduced-price lunches in school not having adequate nutritional snacks and meals during the summer months. QCC partners with Open Hand to provide high-quality meals and snacks that exceed federal nutrition standards.
Many students do not have access to healthy meals when school is out.
Provided 40,930 free and nutritious summer meals to school-age children at 17 sites
"Most of the children who attend our summer camp receive free or reduced lunch during the school year, and we know that there is a real need for them to continue to have healthy food during the summer. It's important to us to focus on the whole child so we make health and wellness a daily topic, but we knew that we could not stress to them the benefits of healthy eating if we turned around and served them processed chicken patties for lunch. Without QCC, we would not be able to provide such a quality food service without encumbering the cost." Patrice Barlow, S.E.E.D Academy.
As part of the Georgia Alliance for Quality Child Care, this program helps child care providers improve the quality of meals severed at their programs. Working directly with small groups of child care program cooks at a local kitchen, the program assists cooks in healthy menu planning, salt and fat content reduction, food procurement strategies, and ways to encourage healthier eating at home.
Child care cooks can have a significant impact on a child's health, though are rarely supported with professional development and training opportunities.
Provided 32 hours of free cooking classes and menu planning courses to child care cooks
I really enjoyed this program. It brought a renewed sense of nutrition in the life of the children I serve. It was helpful being in the presence of a real chef to learn how to operate and use the tools properly and how to prepare food in a way that is nutritional, colorful, and tasty!