Meal Programs For Adults And Children

If you or someone you know is looking for places to get a balanced, nutritious meal, keep reading below. There’s an important government program that could be a vital resource. This article will go over some of the most important details of this program.

Child And Adult Care Food Program

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) gives meals and snacks to children at child care facilities, family day care centers, after-school programs, and emergency shelters. Older or physically impaired adults can also participate in the CACFP.

In 2019, about 4.7 million children and 137,000 adults participated in the CACFP. The USDA’s funding total for the CACFP was $3.7 billion. In 2020, CACFP saw over 4 million children and adults participate with a program total of $3 billion. The downturn in overall numbers for this year is mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result of this disruption in the program, the USDA issued waivers allowing the CACFP to operate with fewer restrictions. Next, let’s take a look at who administers the CACFP and what the requirements for program participation are.

Food And Nutrition Services

The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) administers the CACFP and pays back all participating child and adult care services that use the program. Children can use the CACFP provided they meet the following standards:

  • At or below 130% of the Federal poverty line
  • Between 130 and 185% of the Federal poverty line can get a reduced-price meal
  • Above 185% of the Federal poverty line can get a low-cost full-price meal

Tier Rates

In daycare homes and facilities, meals are reimbursed at tier 1 or tier 2 rates. Tier 1 rates give higher levels of compensation to daycare homes in low-income regions or for those households that have an income at or below 185% of the Federal poverty line. Meals distributed in daycare homes to children for free or reduced-price can also be compensated at tier 1 rates.

Tier 2 rates give lower levels of compensation to daycare homes that do not meet the regional or provider income standards for tier 1 rates. But the overall benefit of the CACFP is clear — meals and snacks provided through CACFP can be critical for working parents and improve daycare quality by making it more affordable to their recipients.

All Ages Benefit

With the Child and Adult Care Program, healthy meals and snacks are provided to people of all ages. Whether you’re a child in school, or elderly and in an adult care facility, this program is designed to get the nutrition every person deserves.