Your Guide to The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

Thanks to the government, a large number of supporting programs are available. People typically imagine receiving help directly when they think of government programs, but this isn’t always the case. Certain programs can still provide support even if it is not directly given to individuals in need. The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is an example of this type of program.

What Does CACFP Mean?

Even though this program is funded federally, the states are the ones to administer the program. CACFP provides reimbursements to participating child care centers, day cares, and adult day cares. The reimbursements are for nutritional food like snacks and meals that go towards eligible children and adults. The reimbursements for nutritious meals go to:

  • Youth who are part of after-school care programs
  • Youth who live in emergency shelters
  • Adults who are 60 years old or more, or who live with a disability in a daycare center

This program has the ability to add to the healthy growth, development, and wellness of America’s children as well as the wellness of qualifying adults. You might be wondering how it can truly benefit Americans in need since facilities are the ones who receive the reimbursements. Truth is, nutritious meals and snacks are offered to over 4.2 million children and 138,000 adults every day through CACFP.

What is the Process of CACFP?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has agencies that help them handle different food programs. One branch of the USDA is the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). The FNS handles the administration of this program by providing grants to states. Once the states receive these grant funds, they can handle the operation of the program.

Even though it’s different from one state to the other, states may be responsible for managing CACFP with the help of their state education agency. Some other states choose to manage CACFP using the help of other agencies such as their own state health agency or social services department. The governor of each state will decide which agency will be responsible for managing the CACFP.

Facilities that are interested in participating in this program must reach a deal with the state administrative agency. Under this deal, the institution would be in charge of managing the CACFP’s finances and administrative activities. The following places provide a number of CACFP benefit opportunities:

  • Childcare Facilities
  • Daycare Centers
  • Programs for Afterschool Care
  • Emergency Shelters
  • Centers for Adult Daycare

Childcare Facilities

Participation in the CACFP is open to institutions that hold a license (or approval) to provide daycare services. They can carry it out on their own or as household centers. This includes:

  • Public Child Care Facilities
  • Private Nonprofit Child Care Facilities
  • Centers for Childcare Services for Outside of School Hours
  • Head Start programs

Depending on whether the child is eligible for paid, reduced-price, or free meals, different reimbursement rates will apply to the meals provided at these institutions.

Daycare Centers

If a family daycare center or group daycare home that is licensed or approved wants to participate in CACFP, they must sign a deal with a householding organization. The eligibility for tier I or tier II rates will determine the rate of reimbursement.

Programs for Afterschool Care

Many after-school care programs are offered in the local community. These programs can take part in CACFP while allowing at-risk teenagers to take part in activities that are rewarding The program can be made available in places where at least 50% of the children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.

Emergency Shelters

Participation in the CACFP is open to public or private nonprofit emergency shelters that offer housing and food services to young individuals who are homeless. They are eligible for reimbursement for up to three daily meals that are provided to the young people who stay at the shelter.

Centers for Adult Daycare

CACFP is also available for nonprofit private adult day care centers and public adult day care centers that provide specific services to non-residential adults. They can choose to do this as an independent entity or as Household centers. Depending on whether the adult is eligible for paid, reduced-price, or free meals, different reimbursement rates will apply to the meals provided at these institutions.

Other Food Support Programs to Take into Account

There are many more food support options other than CACFP that might be able to help. Among them are:

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

One of the most popular food support programs available to Americans is SNAP. Monthly payments are made to eligible recipients through an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. It’s a common misconception that people can use these cards anywhere. Instead, they can only be used at stores that consider them an acceptable form of payment. At the stores that accept these cards, the funds can only be used towards buying qualifying grocery items!

The amount of money these programs can offer each month depends on the participant’s information, such as family size, income level, etc. You must contact your state agency if you would like to receive benefits from this program. To do this, go to your nearest SNAP office, visit their website, or call their toll-free SNAP information line.

Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

This specific form of food assistance program targets mothers, children, and babies. The following individuals are able to benefit from this program:

  • People who are pregnant
  • People who are postpartum
  • Babies up until the age of one
  • Kids until the age of five

Through supplemental nutritional meals, counseling, education, screenings, health recommendations, etc., this program can offer support. You would need to make an appointment with your local or state agency to apply for this program.

Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP)

After a natural disaster, this program may help eligible households with their food needs. However, a state must get an Individual Assistance declaration from the president to run this program. They must receive FNS approval to run the program after receiving this declaration. An Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card will be used if a household is eligible to receive benefits. The money on the card can only be used on eligible groceries at places that accept them as a form of payment. You should keep an eye out for information from your state through the local media if you want to apply for this program.

To Sum Up

Through eligible facilities, the CACFP can help people in eligible families. Countless people can benefit from this opportunity. In fact, millions of children and over 100,000 adults are able to take advantage of this program. The support that comes from CACFP is through reimbursements for nutritional food like snacks and meals. These reimbursements are paid to facilities that provide the support. Other than this program, some other food support programs include:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
  • Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP)

There are a lot of opportunities to consider. If you need food support just know that there are opportunities that you should check out