The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health, Nutrition Services Branch recently announced its annual participation in the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), ensuring children and adults continue to have access to good nutrition. NCDHHS is committed to providing nutritious food especially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and USDA flexibilities are in place to facilitate meeting participants’ needs during this challenging time.
CACFP is a federal program that provides reimbursements for nutritious meals and snacks to eligible children and adults who attend qualifying non-residential care facilities, such as child care centers, family child care homes and adult day care centers. The meals and snacks meet nutrition standards set by the USDA.
Most participating child care centers and all family child care homes do not have separate meal fees for enrolled participants. Reimbursement rates for meals served are based on the household incomes of those enrolled for care.
Each year, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) uses federal poverty information to update Income Eligibility Guidelines for CACFP. The guidelines determine an enrolled participant’s eligibility for free and reduced-price meals. The following guidelines are effective July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021:
Children who receive benefits through TANF, SNAP or Food Distribution Programs on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), or who are Head Start participants, homeless or migrants, are automatically eligible to receive free meal benefits. Adults who receive benefits through TANF, SNAP or FDPIR, or who participate in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid, are also automatically eligible for free meal benefits.
To learn more about how CACFP and how the program contributes to the wellness, healthy growth and development of young children and adults, visit the DPH Nutrition Services Branch website at www.nutritionnc.com/snp/meal-patterns.htm.