CAPLP, Great Plains Food Bank Kitchen Coalition Partner to Provide Nutritious Meals


For many years CAPLP has prioritized nutritious meals on site for all children enrolled in Head Start; this is a cornerstone to learning and development. In recent years the focus has shifted to families’ at-home nutrition needs, including addressing barriers to access.

The food assistance landscape has changed greatly over the last several years. Whereas food assistance was once considered an emergency service, families now need consistent access to support.

For several years CAPLP has been tracking family data around food insecurity and intentionally working towards increasing SNAP and WIC participation. Last program year, CAPLP Head Start had 50 food and nutrition referrals, however, this number does not reflect families who access services independently.

The Fargo- Moorhead community has food assistance resources, but stigma, transportation and food desirability prevents many families from utilizing these services. To collectively advance food security in our community, Nutrition Manager, Anna Johnson, participates in the Cass Clay Hunger Coalition.

An opportunity was presented last fall, when the Great Plains Food Bank launched a new program in the Fargo/Moorhead area called Kitchen Coalition. The Food Bank was looking for a partnership in the Moorhead community and thanks to Anna’s active participation in the Cass Clay Hunger Coalition, they reached out to CAPLP Head Start!

In January, CAPLP Head Start started receiving 70 prepared meals each Thursday to distribute to families. Each meal serves a family of at least four and families receive two meals weekly.

The meals come directly from Brew Catering, a small business caterer working with the Great Plains Food Bank to use food within the local food system to prepare the meals.

Families love trying the new foods and flavors such as lemon turmeric soup with chickpeas, chicken pumpkin pasta, and chili. One family shared that the preschool child chose the soup from the meal service over pizza! CAPLP is grateful for this new partnership opportunity!