We are collaborating with partners from Child Care Services Association, UNC Center for Health Promotion Disease Prevention, Resourceful Communities, the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, and the Rural Church Division of the Duke Endowment to look into centralized kitchen model. As a team, we are in an active learning process as to how centralized community kitchens operate and how such networks can be replicated in early childhood education centers in rural NC, as at this time no rural models exist. To that end, we are turning to existing centralized school meal services for insight and to collect information. We have conducted surveys probing for interest and capacity in this model with Smart Start agencies, Child Care Resource and Referral agencies as well as rural United Methodist Churches. After several site visits, Harnett County is in motion to try a central kitchen model in their community serving multiple child care centers. In tandem, we are going to be evaluating the impact of this new model of serving food on young children. We plan to summarize our findings in a lessons learned paper.
The timeline for this project has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and facility inspection requirements.
- Gizem Templeton, Duke World Food Policy Center
- David Yates, UNC, Gillings School of Public Health
- Marsha Basloe, and Stan Holt at Child Care Services Administration
- Caroline Stover, and Dara Bloom at Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS)
- Robb Webb, Rural Church Division of the Duke Endowment