The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) reimburses qualifying child development centers that provide nutritious meals to young children. The food program requires centers to meet nutritional standards in order to stay in compliance and to be reimbursed for meals served to children.
In addition, the program requires parents to complete necessary paperwork and to provide mandatory information in order for the centers to serve their children. Centers that qualify for the CACFP reimbursement serve families, of which at least 25% qualify for free or reduced meals, depending upon their income level and other factors. Therefore, families who are enrolled at centers utilizing the CACFP reimbursement must provide financial information or a food stamp number or other information.
A reimbursement requires centers to provide receipts showing that they have purchased the proper amounts of nutritious foods in the appropriate food groups in order to serve the number of children attending the center. The inability of a center to provide these receipts may result in a reduced amount of reimbursement.
The benefit to preschoolers is that the CACFP program ensures they receive well-balanced nutritional meals for their growth and development.