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CACFP Program Overview

CACFP is the Child and Adult Care Food Program, a Federal program that provides healthy meals and snacks to children and adults receiving day care. It plays a vital role in improving the quality of day care and making it more affordable for many low-income families.
 
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) administers CACFP through grants to States. The program is administered within most States by the State educational agency. In a few States it is administered by an alternate agency, such as the State health or social services department. The child care component and the adult day care component of CACFP may be administered by different agencies within a State, at the discretion of the Governor.
 
CACFP reimburses participating centers and day care homes for their meal costs. Please click here for current reimbursements rates . Independent centers and sponsoring organizations receive cash reimbursement for serving meals to enrolled children and adults that meet Federal nutritional guidelines. The CACFP meal pattern varies according to age and types of meal served.
 
Centers and day care homes may be approved to claim up to two reimbursable meals (breakfast, lunch or supper) and one snack, or two snacks and one meal, to each eligible participant, each day. Shelters may serve each child up to three reimbursable meals (breakfast, lunch and supper), each day. After School Programs may be approved to claim one snack and one meal, for each eligible participant, each day.
 
Reimbursement for centers is computed by claiming percentages, blended per meal rates, or actual meal count by type (breakfast, lunch, supper, or supplement) and eligibility category (free, reduced price, and above scale). The administering agency assigns a method of reimbursement for centers, based on meals times rates.
 
Program payments for day care homes are based on the number of meals served to enrolled children, multiplied by the appropriate reimbursement rate for each breakfast, lunch, supper, or supplement they are approved to serve. Sponsoring organizations also receive administrative funds related to the documented costs they incur in planning, organizing, and managing CACFP.
 

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