The child and adult care food program and food insecurity

Colleen Heflin, Irma Arteaga, Sara Gable

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides cash reimbursement to family day care, child-care centers, homeless shelters, and afterschool programs for meals and snacks served to children. Despite young children’s known vulnerability to fluctuations in nutritional intake, prior literature has largely neglected the contributions of the CACFP to reducing household food insecurity. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Birth Cohort (ECLS-B), we examine the association between CACFP provider participation and food insecurity, controlling for the nonrandom selection process into child-care centers that participate in CACFP. We find that accessing child care through providers that participate in the CACFP results in a small reduction in the risk of household food insecurity. Given the known cognitive and health consequences associated with food insecurity during early childhood, our results indicate the importance of improving access to the CACFP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-98
Number of pages22
JournalSocial Service Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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