Child Nutrition
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Child and Adult Care Food Program

Overview

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federal program that serves nutritious meals and snacks to eligible children and adults who are enrolled for care at participating child care centers, day care homes, and adult day care centers. CACFP also provides meals and snacks to children and youth who participate in afterschool care programs or reside in emergency shelters.

CACFP sponsors may claim reimbursement for a maximum of either two meals and one snack or two snacks and one meal per participant per day. Meals claimed for reimbursement must meet the CACFP meal pattern requirements and must be served to enrolled participants in approved settings.

Child Care Centers

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federal program that serves nutritious meals and snacks to eligible children and adults who are enrolled for care at participating child care centers, day care homes, and adult day care centers. CACFP also provides meals and snacks to children and youth who participate in afterschool care programs or reside in emergency shelters.

CACFP sponsors may claim reimbursement for a maximum of either two meals and one snack or two snacks and one meal per participant per day. Meals claimed for reimbursement must meet the CACFP meal pattern requirements and must be served to enrolled participants in approved settings.

  1. A public Institution;
  2. A private, non-profit organization (documentation of tax exempt status is required); or
  3. A for-profit center that
    • receives child care subsidies funded by Title XX of the Social Security Act for at least 25% of its enrolled participants or license capacity (whichever is less), or
    • at least 25% of enrolled children qualify for free or reduced-price meals.

Sponsors must follow the CACFP USDA Meal Pattern and the West Virginia Leap of Taste Nutrition Standards. The standards ensure that child care centers comply with nutritious food guidelines for beverages, milk, fruits & vegetables, meats and meat alternates, and grains and breads.

"At-Risk" Afterschool Meals

Community-based programs that offer enrichment activities in an organized, structured and supervised environment for at-risk children and youth, 18 and under, can provide free meals and snacks through CACFP during the school year. Programs must be located in an eligible area, where at least 50 percent of the children are eligible for free and reduced-price meals based upon school data.

Family Day Care Homes

CACFP provides reimbursement for meals and snacks served to small groups of children receiving nonresidential day care in private homes that are licensed through the WVDHHR.

A family or group day care home must sign an agreement with a sponsoring organization to participate in CACFP. Reimbursement for meals served in day care homes is based upon eligibility for Tier I rates (which targets higher levels of reimbursement to low-income areas, providers, or children) or lower Tier II rates.

Emergency Shelters

The emergency shelter component of CACFP was enacted to allow public or private non-profit emergency shelters, homeless shelters and domestic violence shelters to receive reimbursement for nutritious meals served to children. Residents 18 and younger who receive their meals at an emergency shelter are automatically eligible for free meals. There are no application forms for families to fill out. All reimbursable meals are served in group settings, at no cost to the child or to the child’s family.

Eligible shelters may receive the free rate of reimbursement for serving up to three meals each day to residents 18 and under. Unlike most other CACFP facilities, emergency shelters must meet health and safety codes required by state or local law.

Adult Day Care Centers

In West Virginia, licensed adult day care centers that are operated by public, private non-profit organizations, and certain for-profit organizations may participate in CACFP, if they serve elderly persons 60 years of age or older or chronically impaired disabled persons, 18 years of age or older. An eligible center must be nonresidential and provide a community-based program. These programs should be structured, comprehensive and provide health and social support services to enrolled participants; enrolled participants must have individual care plans for each participant. Centers that simply provide social or rehabilitative services to adults do not qualify to participate in CACFP. Meals served to adults receiving care are reimbursed at rates based upon a participant’s eligibility for free, reduced-price, or paid meals.