Collections > Master's Papers > Gillings School of Public Health > A case study of child and adult care food program (CACFP) wellness grant implementation in North Carolina

The North Carolina Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) agency, run through the Nutrition Services Branch of the Division of Public Health applied for and received a USDA Child Care Wellness Grant in 2010. The grant was provided for in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 and fully funded North Carolina’s multi-component nutrition education initiatives. A total of 148 centers and 68 sponsors received pass-through mini-grants to purchase equipment and educational materials related to nutrition and physical activity. Grant recipients were required to attend two trainings (Health Futures in the Kitchen and Build a Better Menu) that focused on healthy cooking skills and healthy menu creation, respectively. The CACFP agency also worked with the North Carolina Community College System to develop a 20-hour training on early childhood nutrition and physical activity and adapted an online childhood obesity prevention module to target parents and providers within the CACFP program. Some of these programs were implemented in ways that were generally similar to what other states had pursued through Federal grants. In a few cases, North Carolina could have used strategies from other states to address the barriers they encountered or improve upon their current and future initiatives to optimize the use of their funding. Few outcome or process evaluations are publicly available on child care interventions in North Carolina or other states, and there is no central hub for sharing program ideas, materials and evaluation findings. There is a need for recipients of large Federal grants to carefully evaluate their programs and make those findings public.