- The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federally funded program of the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
- The Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) is the State agency which administers the CACFP in Montana and ensures that program requirements are followed.
- The program plays a vital role in assuring the nutritional quality of meals and snacks served to eligible children and adults attending non-residential child or adult care programs, and making care more affordable for many low-income families. A variety of different eligible programs qualify to participate in the CACFP.
- The CACFP provides cash reimbursements for meals served to enrolled participants that meet Federal nutritional guidelines outlined in the CACFP meal pattern. Participating institutions may be approved to claim up to two reimbursable meals (breakfast, lunch, and supper) and one snack, or two snacks and one meal, for each eligible participant, each day.
- The State agency:
1. Provides consultative, technical and managerial personnel to administer the program in the state.
2. Provides sufficient training and technical assistance to institutions.
3. Monitors program performance.
4. Facilitates the expansion of the program.
5. Ensures effective operation of the program by participating institutions.
- In Montana, the program serves participants in all counties and on all Indian Reservations.
- Nationwide, the CACFP makes it possible for more than 3.3 million children and 120,000 adults to receive nutritious meals and snacks each day as part of the care they receive.
- Participating institutions receive reimbursement for meals served on a monthly basis. Reimbursement rates are determined by the USDA and are updated and published annually.
The guiding federal legislation for the CACFP is the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 7—Agriculture, Chapter II—Food and Nutrition Service, Department of Agriculture, Subchapter A—Child Nutrition Programs, Part 226—Child and Adult Care Food Program.