Guadalupe Center applies for USDA food program at van Otterloo campus


Guadalupe Center will participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Child Care Food Program at its new van Otterloo Family Campus for Learning in Immokalee. 

The USDA’s “Child and Adult Care Food Program” is a federal program that reimburses child care centers that provide nutritious meals and snacks to eligible children. The Child Care Food Program also provides reimbursements for meals and snacks served to students participating in after-school care programs. Public or private nonprofit child care centers, after-school care centers, Head Start programs and other licensed institutions are eligible to participate in the federal program. 

The van Otterloo Family Campus for Learning, located on Westclox Street in Immokalee, consists of two buildings on nine acres. The Early Childhood Education Building features 12 classrooms and accommodates 154 students aged 6 weeks to 5 years old in the nationally accredited Early Childhood Education Program. The adjacent Brynne & Bob Coletti Hall is home to Guadalupe Center’s out-of-school-time programs, including dedicated learning space for the 117 Immokalee High School students in the college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program. 

Students who attend Guadalupe Center’s Morgridge Family Early Childhood Education Campus, The Martin Foundation Campus at Lake Trafford Elementary and Monaghan Family Early Childhood Education Campus are already eligible for meals and snacks through the USDA program. 

“Guadalupe Center is known for its strong academic programs, but that is just one part a child’s overall development,” said Dawn Montecalvo, president of Guadalupe Center. “Providing nutritious meals and snacks ensures our students are getting their recommended vitamins and minerals, and that helps grow their minds and bodies.” 

Each day, an estimated 4.2 million children receive nutritious meals and snacks through the USDA Child Care Food Program. Guadalupe Center serves more than 1,750 students annually through its three education programs: Early Childhood Education Program, After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment Program and Tutor Corps Program.