In honor of National Nutrition Month and our 60th Anniversary, we wanted to highlight four absolutely incredible partners of our #60for60 partner initiative:
Sara Dan, MBA, RD, Sarasota County Schools Food & Nutrition Services; Jim Simmons; USDA/Child Care Food Program (CCFP); Katrenia DuBose, Registered Dietician Nutritionist (RDN), DuBose & Associates Nutrition Management Company and US Foods!
Thanks to the support of all of our partners at the regional, state, and national levels, we are able to provide 50% of every enrolled child’s weekly nutrition.
Typically, almost 100 of our children are housed on the campuses of the Sarasota County School Board (SCSB) at four locations: North Port High School, Riverview High School, Alta Vista Elementary School, and Emma E. Booker Elementary School.
Since our children are younger than almost all other children on school campuses, there is a need for special attention to the meals and snacks our children are provided each day. Sara Dan, MBA, RD, the Director of Food and Nutrition Services for the SCSB, works very closely with our Health & Nutrition Manager and Nutrition Coordinator to create age- and portion size-appropriate meals for our young children.
The Food and Nutrition Services staff under her leadership have a huge job; diligently ensuring children as young as one year of age through high school age seniors receive healthy, nutritious and tasty meals that align with the Child Care Food Program guidelines. We are very appreciative of Sara and her team’s collaboration, coordination and flexibility in ensuring our children receive yummy meals every day!
The CCFP is a federal program that contributes to the wellness, healthy growth, and development of young children in the United States, ensuring children have access to a variety of nutritious foods and to reduce obesity risk. Research shows that well-nourished children are healthier, more attentive, and have better mental performance than children who are under-nourished. Findings also indicate that children served by the CCFP eat healthier food than children who bring food from home. Each day 4.2 million children receive nutritious meals and snacks through the CCFP.
Children First participates in this vital program, providing breakfast, lunch and snack (including formula and baby food) each day to every child enrolled in our program. The CCFP recognizes and supports the need for the special diets and accommodations for children with specific food allergies. Jim Simmons, our state CCFP Program Specialist, has monitored our program annually for many years to ensure we are in compliance with the CCFP guidelines. We are grateful for his guidance, wisdom and longevity in providing support to our program. Our children and families are very appreciative!
Children’s healthy growth is dependent upon healthy eating habits. At Children First, we provide nutritious meals to all enrolled children and nutrition education to families as well as monitor each child’s height and weight to ensure optimal growth. Sometimes there is a need for a child to receive a special diet due to allergies, developmental conditions, or sensory needs. Katrenia DuBose, RDN, owner of DuBose & Associates Nutrition Management Company, provides vital information related to food and nutrition services, and promotes the health and well-being of our families. Ms. DuBose is an essential part of our multidisciplinary health-care team; integrating nutrition goals and strategies into a child’s special needs plan. This includes providing medical nutrition therapy/suggestions to assist with effective treatment to significantly improving outcomes and reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as Adult and Childhood Obesity, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, as well as Renal Disease. We are deeply grateful for Ms. Dubose’s commitment to our children, families, and mission!
Dave is a driver with US Foods, another key player of our partner initiative and one of many hard-working employees around the country making daily deliveries of healthy snacks, breakfast and lunch meals. Thank you Dave and US Foods for your crucial role in ensuring the health and wellness of our children and families!