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Connecting families to food resources amid the COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional survey of early care and education providers in two U.S. states


Early care and education (ECE) settings are important avenues for reaching young children and their families with food and nutrition resources, including through the U.S. federally funded Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Researchers conducted a cross-sectional survey of ECE providers in two U.S. states in November 2020 to identify approaches used to connect families with food and nutrition resources amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Logistic regression models were used to estimate odds of sites reporting no approaches and adjusted Poisson models were used to estimate the incidence rate ratio of the mean number of approaches, comparing sites that participate in CACFP to those that did not. A total of 589 ECE sites provided responses. Of those, 43% (n = 255) participated in CACFP. CACFP participating sites were more likely to report using any approaches to connecting families to food resources and significantly more likely to report offering “grab and go” meals, providing meal delivery, distributing food boxes to families, and recommending community food resources than non-CACFP sites. This study suggests that CACFP sites may have greater capacity to connect families to food resources amid emergencies than non-CACFP participating sites. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States
Arizona; Pennsylvania

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