Virginia CACFP Summit Explores Nutrition Landscape for State’s Young Children

Virginia CACFP Summit Explores Nutrition Landscape for State’s Young Children Event focuses on collaboration for healthy child development & school readiness

A number of early childhood education and child health champions from across the Commonwealth, including the First Lady of Virginia, will gather in Richmond on June 9 for the Virginia Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Summit to promote nutrition and food security as priorities for the health and school readiness of young children in Virginia, focusing on making sure that low-income children in child care settings have nutritious meals and snacks.

The event is coordinated by the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation as well as the following partner organizations and state agencies: the Office of the First Lady of
Virginia, No Kid Hungry Virginia, Virginia Department of Health, Virginia Department of Social Services, Smart Beginnings Southwest and New River Valley, Child Care Aware of Virginia, The Planning Council, Nemours Children’s Health System, and the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC).

Dorothy McAuliffe, First Lady of Virginia, is among the featured speakers at the Summit on the topic “Bridging the Nutritional Divide for Virginia’s Youngest Children.”

Other speakers and topics include:

  • Geraldine Henchy – Director of Nutrition Policy and Early Childhood Programs, FRAC, will share updates and information on the CACFP, a federal reimbursement program that supports nutrition needs for eligible children.

    A panel of experts will look at Virginia’s current CACFP landscape. Panelists:Conchetta Yonaitis, Special Nutrition Program Manager, Virginia Department of Health; Ipek Taffe, Chief Operations Officer, The Planning Council; Jessica Cherebin, Assistant Site Director, VCU Child Care; Sheila Henderson, Director and Owner, Good4Kidz Child Care Programs; and Carolyn Wait, Program Manager, No Kid Hungry Center for Best Practices, Share Our Strength

    Lincoln Saunders – Chief of Staff to the First Lady of Virginia, Office of the Governor, will lead a discussion about opportunities for collaboration across the
    key systems in Virginia that support quality early childhood education and healthy children.

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“This Summit brings together policy makers, state program leaders and community stakeholders who are invested in helping children start school healthy and ready to learn,” said Kathy Glazer, president of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation. “Our goal is for participants to gain knowledge about how to work within their respective circles of influence to more thoroughly leverage and expand the CACFP nutrition program for young children in child care settings throughout Virginia.”

About the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation: VECF creates results-oriented partnerships to ensure that young children are healthy and prepared for school, life and workforce success. To learn more about VECF and the Smart Beginnings initiative, visit