This program begins with choosing vendors with the right documentation that we need for our CACFP food program. We receive samples as well as pricing for each of our potential meal items to determine the correct fit for us and companies then compete for best pricing and quality.
Once our grocers have been determined, we work through our menus with them to determine the frequency of each food item. Since we are feeding the same amount of children each week, our item purchases are consistent. We operate on a two week menu cycle for most items, such as applesauce, with some items being closer to a 6-8 week cycle, such as grains.
Food items that we utilize are determined by perishability, pricing of product, desirability, etc. Sometimes we work directly with a distributor to create a product just for us! We worked with a vendor to create a chicken snack stick that is now distributed to other organizations as well.
Our grocer delivers to each of our thirty food sites once per week, on different days depending on the base menu. Once the food arrives at the packing site, it’s put into storage. The day before meals are packed, the menu is double checked to ensure that the approved menu fulfills the CACFP dinner program requirements. Each individually packed item is then put into bags for each student and then stored in the fridge until the time of delivery.
The next day (when the time of delivery arrives) the bag is removed from the fridge and placed into one tote per classroom for the school that it is being delivered to. We partner with each school to determine the best method of delivery, whether that is dropping off the totes directly outside of each classroom or having a classroom leader sent to pick up the tote from the main office. At the time approved by the USDA, each student will receive a bag of food. The empty tote will be placed outside of the classroom and the process will be repeated the next day!
For more information about our program and initiatives, please contact email@example.com or visit our Facebook page @Life360 Community Services!