The Central Kitchen operates the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), a federally funded program that provides meals and snacks served to children in child care settings. The Central Kitchen plans, prepares and delivers food, food service, and janitorial supplies to all 44 child development centers operated by CAPK’s Head Start/State Preschool Division.
The kitchen currently serves 44 sites all over Kern County. Over the past year, the facility provided 911,674 meals to over 2,500 children enrolled in Head Start, Early Head Start, and State pre-school programs. The program also prepares meals for Head Start field trips, parent meetings, and social events.
Nutritious and safely prepared breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snacks are provided, depending on the program each child is attending. The Central Kitchen provides special meals to accommodate food allergies and diets that exclude meat and/or dairy products. The menus incorporate a variety of cultural and ethnic preferences, and are designed to provide children with a broadened food experience.
Menus comply with Head Start requirements, CACFP guidelines, and input from the children, parents, staff, and community members at the Nutrition Advisory Committee meetings. The Central Kitchen has received an “A” rating on all of the Kern County Public Health Services Department inspections, and is considered a model for cleanliness and protocol.
The Central Kitchen serves 7 sites through the state-funded “Summer Food Service Program” for children without access to healthy meals during summer break. The Central Kitchen also collaborates with Kern High School District to train students with disabilities in new job skills, food safety standards, and sanitation practices.