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Program Basics

CACFP provides reimbursement funding for healthy food. Approved programs buy and serve healthy meals and/or snacks, keep track of what they serve, then request reimbursement on a monthly basis.

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

CACFP Cycle: Serve, Track, Claim


To qualify for the At-Risk Afterschool Snack/Supper component of CACFP, programs must:

  • Be located in an eligible low-income area, meaning the program is within the enrollment area of a school where 50% or more of the students qualify for free or reduced-price school meals. You can search lists of schools that meet this requirement at the links below.
  • Provide educational or enrichment activities like tutoring, computer classes, arts and crafts, life skills, or recreation programs
  • Be organized primarily to provide care for children after school or on weekends, holidays, or school breaks during the regular school year
    • Programs serving children under age 13 may need to be licensed if required by the local school-age licensing agency. Click here to learn more.

If your program does not meet the eligibility criteria listed above, it may still qualify for a different component of CACFP. Contact us for more information.

Meal Reimbursements & Requirements

CACFP reimburses sponsors for each creditable meal or snack served. Programs participating in the At-Risk Afterschool Snack/Supper component can be reimbursed $4.25 per meal or $1.17 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. For example, an At-Risk Afterschool program serving supper to 60 students Monday through Friday could receive up to $5,100 per month in reimbursement. If that same program served a snack and supper, the reimbursement could increase to up to $6,504 per month.

To be eligible for reimbursement, meals must:

  • Follow the NYS DOH meal pattern requirements, which require certain food components (e.g., vegetables, fruits, grains, fluid milk, meat or meat alternate) and minimum serving sizes. Click here for sample menus and additional information.
  • Be served in an organized setting, not necessarily a cafeteria. Students do not need to all eat at the same time.
  • Be served to children or teenagers ages 18 and younger, with exceptions for participants with disabilities

Getting Started with CACFP

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

Call: (518) 402-7400
Email: using the subject line “Outreach Coordinator.”

The NYS Department of Health’s CACFP prescreening tool can help determine if a program may be eligible.

CACFP In Action

Schools, afterschool programs, and childcare centers throughout New York State are nourishing youth with CACFP. Read their stories.

View All Stories

We can help

We provide afterschool programs, daycare providers, and their surrounding communities with tools, resources, and one-on-one guidance to increase participation in CACFP. Contact Kayla Snyder, CACFP Specialist, for assistance.

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