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  • Writer's pictureNick T.

What Is The Child And Adult Care Food Program? (CACFP)


Due to inflation, the price of groceries is on the rise in the United States. If you are suffering from food insecurity, there are a variety of Federal programs you can use to subsidize your expenses. One of the lesser-known programs is the Child And Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), a federally funded initiative that is administered by the states. The program provides reimbursements for nutritious meals and snacks to individuals who qualify. The Food and Nutrition Service issues grants through state agencies including health agencies, social services, and state education agencies.


Children who qualify for the Child And Adult Care Program include infants up to 12 years of age in child care centers and day homes, children of migrant workers under 15 years of age, and children up to 18 years of age who reside in after-school care centers or emergency shelters. Additionally, adults aged 60 years older or living with a disability in a daycare facility can qualify for CACFP.

How to Apply

Individuals who wish to participate in the program should contact their state agency to locate participating organizations. CACFP sponsors must be licensed or approved childcare provider or a public or nonprofit private school which provides organized childcare programs for school children during off hours. Additionally, private for-profit centers are eligible if 25% or more of enrolled participants receive childcare subsidies or are low income. If your institution sponsors the CACFP, ask them for an application.


Participating programs are required to provide meals and snacks that are in line with the USDA’s nutritional standards. Reimbursement rates vary depending on the type of institution and the type of meal. Child and adult care centers and family childcare homes have a staggered reimbursement system that provides a higher percentage of reimbursement for individuals who are low income. Check your state government’s website for detailed reimbursement figures. Need extra cash for groceries? This site pays up to $25 per survey.


The Child And Adult Care Food Program works to ensure that participants receive healthy and balanced meals. Since quality childcare may be inaccessible for lower income families, this program aims to reduce the cost of childcare while encouraging children to develop nutritious habits. In addition to meal reimbursement, the CACFP provides funding, nutrition education, and training for childcare professionals. If you are struggling to purchase groceries, consider applying for CACFP, as well as SNAP and other federally funded programs.

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