Child and Adult Care Food Program

ATTENTION CACFP SPONSORS: The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, Public Law 111-296, amended section 17 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA), 42 U.S.C. 1766, to require the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to update the CACFP meal pattern requirements to make them more consistent with (a) the most recent version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, (b) the most recent relevant nutrition science, and (c) appropriate authoritative scientific agency and organization recommendations.

On April 25, 2016 USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) published the final rule “Child and Adult Care Food Program: Meal Pattern Revisions Related to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act” (81 FR 24348) to update the CACFP meal patterns in 7 CFR 226.20. This final rule also revised the meal pattern requirements for infants and children aged 1 through 4 (preschool) in the NSLP and SBP, under 7 CFR 210.10 and 220.8, respectively, to match the CACFP meal pattern requirements.

Those operating the CACFP, NSLP, and SBP (CNP operators), which includes CACFP centers and day care homes and school food authorities, must comply with the updated meal pattern requirements no later than October 1, 2017.


CACFP provides year-round supplemental federal funding to eligible child care, family day care, Headstart, at-risk after school care, emergency shelter and adult care centers. This funding is used to provide nutritious meals and snacks to lower income participants in these care programs. Funding for CACFP also helps make these care programs more affordable for families. Nationally, CACFP serves 3.2 million children and 112,000 adults a day. CACFP is authorized under section 17 of the National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1766). Program regulations are issued by the USDA under 7 CFR part 226.

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

  • (1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
  • 2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
  • (3) Email: program.intake@usda.gov