Promoting Child Nutrition through the Child Care Food Program in Florida

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The Florida Department of Health (DOH) in conjunction with the United States Department of Agriculture promotes the Child Care Food Program (CCFP). The Child Care Food Program is a federally funded United States Department of Agriculture program that reimburses child care providers for serving nutritious meals and snacks to children.

"The Child Care Food Program encourages children to build healthy habits for life," said Deputy State Health Officer Bonita Sorensen, M.D., M.B.A. "Parents seeking child care within the State of Florida are encouraged to enroll their children in facilities that participate in this program."

Florida Department of Health administers the Child Care Food Program through four types of child care-related settings:

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Child care centers: In a non-pricing child care center, meals will be available at no separate charge to eligible children. In a pricing child care center, there is a separate identifiable charge for each meal and snack served to eligible children. Children from households whose income falls within the free guidelines are eligible for meals at no separate charge.

2. Family day care homes: Meals are available at no separate charge to eligible children.

3. Afterschool programs: The Afterschool Snack Program is a subcomponent of the Child Care Food Program; snacks are available at no separate charge to eligible children.

4. Homeless shelters and certain emergency shelters: The Homeless Children Nutrition Program is a subcomponent of the Child Care Food Program; meals are available at no separate charge to eligible children.

Households currently certified to receive food stamps, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), or Head Start (low-income eligible) are automatically eligible to receive free meal benefits.

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