Big wins for SF families struggling with food insecurity
By Raegan Sales
Healthy Apple Program Coordinator, Children’s Council
We are so excited to announce some recent big wins for San Francisco families with young children and their caregivers!
Food insecurity in America has increased during the pandemic, especially in households with young children. Sadly, one in four San Francisco residents are at risk of hunger due to low income.
Knowing that little ones enrolled in child care programs often receive the majority of their meals while in child care, Children’s Council has been hard at work throughout the pandemic to ensure our child care educators have affordable access to healthy meals for the kids in their care.
Locally, Children’s Council worked in partnership with SF Child Care Planning and Advisory Council, San Francisco Food Security Task Force, Shape Up San Francisco and the San Francisco ECE Advocacy Coalition in securing $1 million ($500,000 from the Board of Supervisors and $500,000 from the Mayor’s Office) annually to support educators providing healthy meals to children experiencing food insecurity enrolled in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for the next two years, allowing us to reimburse child care providers closer to the full cost they spend on food.
At the federal level, reimbursement rates for child care and preschool meals have temporarily increased as of July 1. Furthermore, the Keep Kids Fed Act has also leveled the playing field for all children, ensuring all family child care programs, regardless of their geographic location, are reimbursed at the same rate through July 1, 2023.
These federal investments, coupled with our most recent local CACFP budget win, will transform access to quality meals for young children. In a high-cost city like San Francisco, where food is expensive for everyone, we’ve been advocating for universal meal reimbursement rates for years – this is a big win!
This extraordinary funding is a direct result of relentless education and advocacy work by parents and community members supported by organizers and staff, who attended numerous meetings with Supervisors and spent hours following up with Supervisors and their staff, both in-person and virtually. On “add-back day” we were at City Hall advocating for this funding until 1am!
Big, positive outcomes like this come from the great individual and collaborative efforts of Children’s Council staff, particularly our Public Policy Communications and Health & Nutrition teams who worked hand-in-hand with the San Francisco Food Security Task Force.
This is a huge new local investment in CACFP, let’s celebrate all the work that went into it!
To learn more and get involved in our child care and nutrition advocacy work, click here to sign up for our Advocacy and Public Policy email list!