The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) helps eligible afterschool programs and school-age child care centers serve healthy meals and snacks after school, on weekends, and during holiday breaks throughout the school year.
Afterschool Meals Guide
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.
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 children under age 13 may need to be licensed if required by the local school-age licensing agency. Click here to learn more.
- Include educational or enrichment activities like 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. You can search lists of schools that meet this requirement at the links below. Note: This requirement is waived for the 2020-2021 school year. Through June 30, 2021, programs in all areas of the state may qualify for CACFP’s At-Risk Afterschool Snack/Supper component.
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 $3.51 per meal or $.96 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 $4,212 per month in reimbursement. If that same program served a snack and supper, the reimbursement could increase to up to $5,364 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.
- Note: During the 2020-2021 school year, programs may serve non-congregate meals (i.e., grab-and-go or delivered meals). Visit our COVID-19 webpage for more information.
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
We can help
Together with our partners, the NYS Network for Youth Success and the Early Care and Learning Council, we provide afterschool programs, daycare providers, and their surrounding communities with tools, resources, and one-on-one guidance to increase participation in CACFP. Contact Krista Hesdorfer, Child Nutrition Programs Specialist, for assistance.
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