For the past 23 years, parents can get cost reimbursement for nutritious meals and snacks for their children enrolled at the Child Care Center through their Child and Adult Care Food Program.
The Child and Adult Care Food Program CACFP gives parents the opportunity to leave their children at Mt. San Antonio College's Child Development Center and receive nutritious meals during breakfast and lunch time. According to the Child Development Center's website, "at no time will we allow a child to 'go hungry' while in our care." The CACFP is a government program administered to states through the United States Department of Agriculture USDA's Food and Nutrition Services. Through the program, parents can get reimbursed for the meals based on their income.
Marissa Mangold, head cook at the Child Care Center at Mt. San Antonio College, ensures that the meals served to the children follow the USDA food plate guidelines. Each one of her meals tries to keep a balance between grains, fruits, vegetables and proteins. In addition, each meal provided to the children follows the USDA's serving size guidelines. Families whose children require special diets or food alternatives are also accommodated through the program.
"For special diets, we try to keep the meal as close as possible to what is being served that day," Mangold said. "For example, if we are serving spaghetti, I'll make a separate sauce apart from the meat sauce we normally make for children who have special diet needs."
Tamika Addison, director of the Child Development Center, said that this program has positively impacted parents in a number of ways. "Parents leave their kids for different times of the day, and this program allows them to not worry about if their kid is being fed or not," said Addison.
The center ensures that all food abides the U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA guidelines. Addison added that the center displays the meal plan each and every day for parents and faculties convenience.
Addison made it very clear that the wellbeing of these kids is the center's number one priority. "The saying here is that if a child says they're hungry, they will be fed even if it is not included in the meal plan," Addison said.
The Child Development Center provides children with daily breakfast and lunch, served at 8:30 a.m. and between 11-11:30 a.m. daily. In addition, children receive a snack between 1:30-2:30 p.m., depending on their classroom's schedule.