Program Basics

CACFP is a reimbursement-based program. Approved sponsors buy and serve healthy meals and/or snacks, then request reimbursement on a monthly basis.

Sponsors also benefit from free training and resources to support their efforts to provide quality nutrition.

CACFP is federally funded through the United States Department of Agriculture and is administered at the state level through the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH).


Afterschool programs have two options for participating in CACFP.

Option 1: At-Risk Afterschool Snack/Supper

Programs located in qualified low-income areas may be able to participate in the At-Risk Afterschool Snack/Supper component of CACFP if they:

  • Are organized primarily to provide care for children after school or on weekends, holidays, or school breaks during the regular school year.
    • Programs serving 13- to 18-year-old students do not need to be licensed to participate in CACFP. Programs serving children under 13 years of age may need to be licensed if required by the local school-age licensing agency.
  • Include educational or enrichment activities. Examples include tutoring, computer classes, arts and crafts, life skills, or recreation programs.
  • Are located within the enrollment area of a school where 50% or more of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.  Search lists of schools that meet area eligibility requirements for CACFP below.  Once NYS DOH determines a program is located in an eligible area, that determination remains valid for five years.

Option 2: Traditional CACFP

Programs that are not located in qualified low-income areas may still be able to participate in traditional CACFP if they meet eligibility criteria for school-age childcare centers. Click here to learn more about this option.

NYS DOH’s new CACFP prescreening tool can help staff determine if a particular program may be eligible for CACFP. If you do not have all of the information needed to complete the prescreening, contact Hunger Solutions New York for assistance, or email [email protected] using the subject line “Outreach Coordinator.”

Meal Reimbursements

CACFP reimburses sponsors for each creditable meal or snack served. Programs participating in the At-Risk Afterschool Snack/Supper component can be reimbursed $3.31 per meal or $.91 per snack served, up to one meal and one snack per child per day.*

CACFP reimbursements can make a big difference for programs’ food budgets. As an example, an At-Risk Afterschool program serving supper to 60 students Monday through Friday could receive up to $3,972 per month in reimbursement. If that same program served a snack and supper, the reimbursement could increase to up to $5,064 per month.

To be eligible for reimbursement, meals must:

  • Follow the NYS DOH meal pattern requirements.
  • Be served in an organized setting, though this does not need to be in a cafeteria, nor do all students need to eat at the same time.
  • Be served to children or teenagers age 18 and younger,* with exceptions for participants with disabilities.

*Meal reimbursements are handled differently for childcare centers or programs that do not participate in the At-Risk Afterschool Snack/Supper component. Click here to learn more.

Getting Started

To apply for CACFP, contact the NYS Department of Health:

Call: (518) 402-7400

Email: [email protected] – use the subject line “Outreach Coordinator”

For more information or assistance: