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Program Basics

CACFP provides reimbursement funding to help child care centers serve healthy food. Approved centers buy and serve healthy meals and/or snacks, keep track of what they serve, then request reimbursement on a monthly basis. Centers also benefit from free training and resources to support their efforts to provide quality nutrition.

CACFP Eligibility

Most child care centers and school-age child care programs are eligible to participate in CACFP if they:

  • Provide nonresidential care services
  • Are licensed or approved by a federal, state, or local authority; or are approved by demonstrating compliance with state, local, or CACFP child care standards
  • Are public or non-profit OR for-profit, if at least 25% of enrolled children either receive tuition subsidies or are eligible for free or reduced-price meals

For further assistance determining eligibility, email Use the subject line “Outreach Coordinator.”

Meal Reimbursements & Requirements

CACFP reimburses centers for each creditable meal or snack served, up to two meals and one snack per child per day. There are three reimbursement rates – free, reduced-price, or paid – based on the household income of participating children. The reimbursement rates for July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024 are listed below.

Breakfast Lunch/Supper Snack
Free $2.28 $4.25 $1.17
Reduced Price $1.98 $3.85 $0.58
Paid $0.38 $0.40 $0.10

CACFP reimbursements can make a big difference in centers’ food budgets. For example, a center might serve 100 children, with 30 children qualifying for the free reimbursement rate, 30 qualifying for reduced-price, and 40 qualifying for paid meal reimbursements. If the center served all 100 children a morning snack, lunch, and supper 20 days per month, CACFP could reimburse over $11,490 per month.

To be eligible for reimbursement, meals and snacks must follow the CACFP meal patterns, which require certain food components (e.g., vegetables, fruits, grains, fluid milk, meat, or meat alternatives) and minimum serving sizes for different age groups. Click here for sample menus and additional information.

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.


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 for assistance.

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