MDC_8Left to right:  U.S. Dept. of Agriculture administrator Diana Limbacher joined New Jersey Department of Agriculture officials Rose Tricario and Tanya Johnson in a lunchtime conversation with children at Monmouth Day Care Center.

Based on a press release from New Jersey Department of Agriculture

During the observance of Child and Adult Care Food Program Week, Red Bank’s Monmouth Day Care Center hosted several special guests at the MDCC facility on Drs. James Parker Boulvard. Rose Tricario (Director of Food and Nutrition for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture) and Diana Limbacher (Deputy Regional Administrator, U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service) commemorated CACFP) Week with a March 14 visit to Monmouth Day Care Center, where the program feeds breakfast, lunch and snacks to 120 children each day.

IMG_2030MDCC’s Heather Martinho (left) looks on as two Rainbow Room children presented a class-made book to guests Diane Limbacher, Rose Tricario and Tanya Johnson.

“The Child and Adult Care Food Program gives thousands of New Jersey children the nourishment they need in their crucial years, teaching them healthy eating behaviors that will last a lifetime,” said Director Tricario, who joined Limbacher in serving the youngest children a lunch of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, peas and carrots. Also on hand were NJDA staffer Tanya Johnson and Ben Lucarelli, former MDCC board of trusteees president and mayor of Fair Haven.

Monmouth Day Care Center joined the CACFP in 1987.  Heather Martinho, the center’s early Childhood Education Coordinator, said the CACFP has helped to offset their food costs, in addition to educating the staff and children on proper nutrition.

“The CACFP has benefited the children by teaching them how to choose healthy foods to eat,” said Martinho.  “The children are encouraged to try new foods and talk about the foods they like, and what are healthy and non-healthy food choices.

“For many children in our center, the meals they receive are the only well-balanced meals they might have for the day and/or week.”

Governor Christie proclaimed March 13-19 as Child and Adult Care Food Program Week in New Jersey, based on National CACFP Week, a national education and information campaign sponsored annually by the National CACFP Sponsors Association. The campaign is designed to raise awareness of how the program works to combat hunger and bring healthy foods to the table for adults in day care and children in child care homes, centers, and in afterschool feeding programs across the country.

In New Jersey, the CACFP provides meals and snacks to 85,593 eligible participants at 1,835 shelters, day care centers, family day care homes, after-school care programs and adult day care centers under the sponsorship of more than 600 New Jersey institutions.  Nationally, child care providers and centers participating in CACFP provide meals to 3.5 million children and 116,000 elderly or disable adults each day for a total of 1.96 billion meals and snacks.

To learn more about New Jersey’s Child and Adult Care Food Program, go here or call (609)984-1250.