CACFP Success Story
Carver Center: Port Chester, New York
What could you do with a reimbursement of $35,000 a month?
The Carver Center is a great example of how programs, students, and families can benefit from the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). They serve approximately 9,600 meals per month, sponsoring seven afterschool program sites in the Port Chester community.
Before enrolling for CACFP in October 2011, the Carver Center relied on donations and fundraising events to raise the funds they needed for food and meal preparation. Due to those limited funds, the food served was not the best quality and rarely made from scratch. Now, the Carver Center has established a close partnership with the Food Bank of Westchester, in addition to a variety of other vendors, enabling them to purchase foods at a reduced rate and therefore feed more children. They prepare the food on-site at their center, and then the food is delivered to various sites and served by trained servers. When they first began participating in CACFP in 2011, they were serving meals that totaled $9,000 in monthly reimbursement. As Alex Chavarria, Chief Business Officer at the Carver Center, stated, “Now, we are fortunate to receive reimbursement for every meal equaling $35,000 a month… We have happier parents who no longer have to worry about providing dinner, and healthier children who are well-fed when they leave our programs.”
Although transitioning to CACFP did require the students to adjust from the processed foods they were used to, the students are now willing to try new foods and they look forward to the new food options. In addition, the Carver Center plans their menus ahead and gets students and families excited about the upcoming meals by sharing those menus in advance. Carver’s Chief Learning Officer, Leanne Tormey shared that “providing menus to families ahead of time and sharing menus with students has increased satisfaction and made meals events that the children look forward to each day!”
Learn more about CACFP eligibility and how to get your program started serving healthy meals and receiving reimbursements like the Carver Center by visiting AfterschoolMealsNY.org. Carver Center, offers the following advice for afterschool programs interested in enrolling for CACFP, “planning is key to success…Everyone from our chef to our prep staff, delivery team, and servers are well-trained and committed to high levels of service for our families. We recommend starting small and watching your programs grow over time.”