Food Program


CACFP Staff with Representative Jim McGovern (D. MA)

CACFP Staff with Representative Jim McGovern (D. MA), FRAC Anti-hunger Conference 2018

Clarendon is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) agency that sponsors the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)  for providers participating in Clarendon’s Child Care Systems across the state as well as independent Providers.  The CACFP provides many benefits for providers and children including, nutrition training, free nutritious meals for children and financial reimbursement for provider’s meal service costs.  Massachusetts Department of Education provides oversight for all sponsors of the CACFP in MA.

Clarendon is a staunch advocate for the continuation of Federal funding for the Food Program and works tirelessly with The Food Research and Action Center.  FRAC is the leading National Organization dedicated to the integrity of the CACFP and the welfare of America’s hungriest children.


  • Good nutrition is critical to a child’s physical health and cognitive development. All Clarendon educators participate in the food program and provide nutritious meals and snacks, which are in accordance with the USDA guidelines.
  • All children are enrolled in the Child Care Food Program. Meals are provided at no additional cost to parents.  Parents are not required to send meals or food to day care.
  • Clarendon encourages parents to discuss any concerns regarding a child’s nutrition, allergies or nutrition in general, with your provider and Clarendon staff.
  • Nursing mothers are encouraged to bring breast milk for their infants to the child care provider’s home.
  • Educators receive on-going nutrition training including CPR & First Aid, SIDS, Health & Safety and Record-Keeping.
  • Educators receive financial reimbursement for meals served, a calendar keeper and a monthly curriculum providing nutrition information and activities.
  • Clarendon programs are reviewed quarterly by Food Program Monitors to ensure that children are receiving nutritious home cooked meals in compliance with USDA regulations. In addition, menus are reviewed and homes are inspected to assure that proper sanitation procedures are being followed.


Clarendon supports state and local initiatives to bring fresh produce to your child’s plate. Serving local foods and offering related hands-on activities can increase children’s willingness to try new foods. With daily opportunities to serve local products through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), farm to preschool benefits local and regional farmers and Farm to table opens opportunities for child care educators to collaborate with farmers in their area.  This would not only provide healthy, fresh meals to children in care but to also create opportunities for children to learn about the steps it takes to grow and take care of the vegetables they eat.

Incorporating seasonal and locally produced foods is included as a best practice in the CACFP meal pattern final rule.

Message from USDA/Food and Nutrition Services.
Team Nutrition

Start Simple with MyPlate:

Food Planning During the Coronavirus PandemicDuring a pandemic, you may be taking extra precautions to keep you and your family safe and prepared, including making sure you have everything you need at home. This guide contains information on food planning, including what to buy, how much to buy, and preparation tips.

Check what you have at home first:

Take a look at the foods you already have in your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry; make sure to look at expiration dates and best by dates. This can help you plan meals around what you already have, and will help you limit the number of trips to the grocery store and avoid spending money on items you don’t need.

Make a shopping list:

Shopping may feel more stressful at this time. Make a list ahead of time to stay focused, get the items you need, and keep your shopping trip short. Since stores may not have some specific items, create a list with general items like “fruit” or “bread.”

Explore your shopping options:

Many grocery stores offer in-store pickup, curbside pickup, or delivery. Third party options also exist for grocery store delivery. You may find these services helpful during times of social distancing. If you are older, check if your store delivers or has early shopping hours for older Americans only.

How much should I buy?

Buy what you and your family need at this time, and resist the urge to buy in much larger quantities. Prepare a shopping list that will cover you and everyone in your household for 2 weeks.Include fresh, frozen, and non-perishable items
Plan for a mix of fresh, frozen, and shelf-stable foods. Eat your fresh food first. Stock your freezer and pantry with items you can eat in the second week and beyond.

What foods should I buy?

Choose a mix of shelf-stable, frozen and fresh foods. Examples of shelf-stable foods include pastas, rice, legumes, nut butters, and dried and canned goods. Frozen options to think about might be breads, meats, vegetables, fruits, and even milk. With fresh foods, buy a variety in quantities that you would normally buy. Remember to include the special needs of all family members, including pets, infants, or those with dietary restrictions.


What should I make?

While everyone is home together, you may feel inclined to try a new recipe or experiment with new flavors to keep things interesting. For others, sticking to simple items or familiar foods and tastes provides comfort. Plan what works for you and your family.

Access to food while school is closed

Many school districts across the country are continuing to provide meals to students in need during school closures. Check for local programs in your area, such as Meals to You. Contact your local school to learn about meals that may be available through pop-up food systems, grab-and-go meal pickups, or school bus routes.

Additional Food Planning Resources:

Tips for Every Aisle
Use these tips to fill your cart with budget-friendly and healthy options from each food group.
Sample 2-Week Menus
These sample 2-week menus can be used by any person or family wanting to follow a healthy diet at a modest price.
MyPlate Plan
To learn about your food group targets, use the personalized MyPlate Plan tool.Activities for Families at Home:
MyPlate: Activities To Do with Kids
Activities and printables to get the whole family on board with making healthier choices.
Team Nutrition Cooks!
Cooking based nutrition activities for children ages 8-12 years old.
Team Nutrition Games & Activities
Make your way through all the food groups with these fun games and activities.Contact information:
For solutions to feeding children impacted by COVID-19, email more information about Coronavirus:

For more information about Coronavirus:
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
What the U.S. Government is Doing
USDA Food and Nutrition Service response

More Information

This project has been funded at least in part with Federal funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture


In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:

Filing a Program Discrimination Complaint as a USDA Customer and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or
(3) email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.