Nutrition First

“I hope someday we will be able to proclaim that we have banished hunger in the United States, and that we’ve been able to bring nutrition and health to the whole world.”

— George McGovern, Politician

The Nutrition First Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), part of the National School Lunch Act, is a free federal program designed to provide funds as a partial reimbursement to nonresidential child care facilities to serve nutritious meals and snacks. The goal of the CACFP is to improve and maintain the health and nutritional status of children in care while promoting the development of good eating habits. The funds provided for this program are from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Laws that govern the program are established by Congress. The program is operated in Oregon through the Child Nutrition Office of the Oregon Department of Education (ODE).

Nutrition First Food Program is one of four non-profit organizations that sponsors the program in Oregon. Nutrition First, part of the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency, Inc., works with child care providers in Marion, Polk, Yamhill, Tillamook, Lincoln, Linn, Benton, Lane, Clackamas, Washington and Multnomah counties. This program has been dedicated to promoting quality child care since 1982.

How it Works

After your initial sign-up and follow-up visit, we will visit you in your home approximately three times a year to review meal service and paperwork, and to discuss serving ideas and nutrition with you. Visits may be announced or unannounced. It is required by Oregon Department of Education that each provider have at least two unannounced visits and one announced visit per fiscal year. You may request additional visits at any time. Nutrition First strives to make home visits a relaxed and enjoyable time. Program representatives will have an educational unit to do with the provider and/or children each time they visit. During the home visit, Program representatives will observe a meal or snack. They will complete a visit form that includes the foods served, children present and other items. They will also review your meal records to make sure they are up to date and correct. If menu, log, or attendance forms are incomplete or filled out in advance, the provider will be disallowed accordingly. Providers will receive a supply of forms for the next few months. You will need to document the following daily:

  • Who—Who was offered the meal or snack? (meal count), by end of day.
  • What—What foods were offered (menus), by end of day.
  • When—When were the children in attendance (in and out times), must be recorded at the actual drop-off and pick-up times.

It’s easy! And best of all, 
it only takes a few minutes each day to complete the information.

At the end of the month, simply submit the menu, meal count, attendance records (if required), and new child enrollment forms to us by our deadline. We take care of processing the claim and your reimbursement

Meals and snacks are based on the following food groups:

  • Milk
  • Meat and Meat Alternative
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Grains

For a complete description of creditable foods and non-creditable foods, providers can refer to our “Nutrition First Handbook”. This handbook is given to each provider at their sign-up home visit. Providers will also be supplied with a colorful Child Care Food Program Food Chart and Infant Meal Chart, which will determine serving sizes for each meal and each age group.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider

How to Join

Providers must be registered as a family child care home or certified home with the Office of Child Care (OCC), or listed with the Department of Human Services (DHS). You can begin claiming meals once you have met with us and completed the sign-up paperwork.  You may serve the foods you choose, as long as the food choices and serving size meet the USDA requirements. We have menu ideas and samples to help you get started. We will train you on these requirements, and we will provide you with resources to refer to.

For information about the registration process and how to become a registered family or certified child care home provider, please look at the Child Care Resource & Referral section of the Community Action Agency website. Providers may contact us for assistance to locate similar R&R’s located in other counties that Nutrition First serves (such as Lincoln, Tillamook, Linn, and Benton).

Providers on our program must be 18 years of age or older, providing care in their own home, and the provider must purchase and prepare the meals for the children in their care. Other program rules and regulations apply, and are covered during the sign-up appointment.

To Find Out More:

Child Care Providers interested in finding out more about the Nutrition First Food Program may contact us.


Nutrition First CACFP Benefits,
Free to all those who participate:

Nutrition First staff are dedicated to child care providers and the children in their care. The program supports providers in their valuable role of providing service to children and families, and strives to build positive relationships with providers to help keep them in the field of child care.

Cash reimbursement for serving nutritious meals and snacks to children for in-home child care providers, regardless of family income. Reimbursement for meals to provider’s own children are also available, based on income eligibility.

  • Easy-to-use provider handbook with information, sample menus, and recipe ideas.
  • Individualized help with menu planning and record keeping.
  • In-home nutrition education program designed especially for certified home providers, family child care providers and children. Receive free nutrition education materials, stickers, color sheets, and stories for the children.
  • Free subscriptions to the “Nutrition First News” and “Check It Out”, both monthly publications with recipes, helpful hints, activities, and program updates.
  • Free forms that are simple and easy to use. Free envelopes for mailing in forms. Computer fill-in forms are also available.
  • Services in English, Spanish, Russian and Ukrainian.
  • Experienced, professional staff. Prompt and friendly service and support by phone, email, and in person.
  • Access to a registered dietitian, through the Oregon Department of Education.
  • Convenient Salem location.
  • Toll-free telephone number access for providers outside the Salem calling area.
  • Year-end statement of reimbursement for tax purposes.

Help your child care business thrive because providing the Food Program attracts families to your child care home.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider

Contact Us

Child Care and Adult Care Food Program

2475 Center St NE
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: 503-581-7563
Toll Free: 1-800-288-6368

USDA and Nutrition First are equal opportunity providers and employers.

Send us mail

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
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