An app for a particular kind of foodie
For those who purchase food for day cares, it can be difficult to distinguish which foods will be federally reimbursed. Fortunately, there’s now an app for that.
The application, developed by the Iowa Department of Education through a USDA grant, ensures that the food purchaser, armed with her cell phone, can plug in a bit of information about each product and – voila – the app will show whether the purchase is reimbursable.
Food for child care centers, day care home providers and adult day care can be reimbursed through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).
There are strings attached to reimbursement: All products must meet nutritional guidelines. The nutrition requirements are tougher than those in place for schools.
“The very young and the very old have complex nutritional requirements that are different from students,” said Iowa Department of Education Contractor Angie Davis.
The application can save literally thousands of dollars each year.
“Our immediate Iowa audience is 2,000 providers who oversee tens of thousands of kids and adults,” Davis said.
In the app, the user just follows a series of questions about the products and it will pop up if it is reimbursable. Some other notable features:
- Enter a few numbers from the Nutrition Facts Label and find out whether a breakfast cereal or yogurt meets the sugar requirements.
- Quickly get answers and make smart purchases with the CACFP Shopper.
- Use the ‘My List’ feature to store information on items you have selected.
- Keep the list for your next trip or share it with your team if someone else will be doing the shopping.
“The app makes it easier for the providers at the point of purchase where it really matters,” Davis said.
The free app, which does not require WiFi access once it’s downloaded, can be found at these sites: