Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federally funded program that provides reimbursement for eligible meals that are served to participants who meet age and income requirements. Administrative payments are also provided for those agencies that sponsor the participation of day care homes. All payments are based on annual rates established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). CACFP provides aid to child and adult care institutions and family or group day care homes for the provision of nutritious foods that contribute to the wellness, healthy growth, and development of young children, and the health and wellness of older adults and chronically impaired disabled persons. Research shows that well-nourished children are healthier, more attentive, and have better mental performance than children who are under-nourished. Findings also indicate that children served by CACFP eat healthier food than children who bring food from home. The CACFP helps facilities implement "best practices" to ensure children have access to a variety of nutritious foods. 

Current CACFP Sites

Contact Us:
Phone: (615) 313-4749


Address: Tennessee Department of Human Services
Nutrition Programs-CACFP
James K. Polk Building
505 Deaderick Street, 15th Floor
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-1403

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

  1. mail:
    U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
  2. fax:
    (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

History of the program

Congress established the Child and Adult Care Food Program in 1968 to ensure children in licensed or approved daycare centers, settlement houses, and recreation centers were receiving nutritious meals. The program initially targeted needy areas that had large numbers of working mothers and provided limited reimbursement for public or private non-profit institutions.

Ten years later, in November 1978, Public Law 95-627 made the Child and Adult Care Food Program permanent expanding it to cover all public or private non-profit institutions or sponsored facilities, licensed or approved to care for children. Expanded coverage included child care centers, outside-school-hours care centers, family and group day care homes, and institutions providing day care for the handicapped.

The DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) is responsible for addressing the occurrence of fraud, waste, and abuse with the various programs that DHS administers, including CACFP. OIG conducts monitoring reviews of food program sponsors and feeding sites as a part of program integrity and compliance with Federal and State regulations.
Click here to review additional monitiorning information related to CACFP

  • Child Care Centers-Licensed child care centers and Head Start programs provide day care with meals and snacks to large numbers of children.
  • Outside-School-Hours Care Centers-Licensed centers offer before or afterschool care with meals and snacks to large numbers of children.
  • Family Day Care Homes-Licensed providers offer family child care with free meals and snacks to small groups of children in private homes.
  • At-Risk Afterschool Care Programs-Centers in low-income areas provide learning activities with free meals and snacks to school-age children and youth.
  • Emergency Shelters-Homeless, domestic violence, and runaway youth shelters provide places to live with free meals for children and youth.
  • Adult Day Care Centers-Licensed centers provide day care with meals and snacks to enrolled adults.

For access to the online application system contact the Food Programs via email at or call (615)313-4749. 

To ensure data integrity and for tracking purposes, please do not attempt to hand deliver, mail, fax, or scan any part of the application to the office. All applications must be submitted through the Tennessee Information Payment System (TIPS) available at:

  • Claims for reimbursement are submitted in the Tennessee Information Payment System (TIPS) for processing.  TIPS is available at
  • The US Congress passed the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) in 2006 with the objective to promote open government by enhancing the Federal Government’s accountability for its stewardship of public resources.  This will be accomplished by making Government information—particularly information on Federal spending—accessible to the general public. Therefore, all institutions participating on the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) are required to obtain a Dun & Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (D-U-N-S) Number. This D-U-N-S Number must be obtained in order to do business with the Tennessee Department of Human Services under Federal assistance programs.

What is a D-U-N-S Number?

With millions of companies operating all over the world, it is imperative to have a universal way to distinguish them from one another. This is accomplished with the D-U-N-S Number system established by Dun & Bradstreet, a company that provides credit and corporate information internationally. Businesses seeking information about other businesses worldwide often start with Dun & Bradstreet.

D-U-N-S stands for Data Universal Numbering System. The system maintains a much more detailed financial and corporate history than tax ID numbers, and is better suited to the global marketplace. A Tax Identification Number (TIN) is required of US corporations by the IRS, which uses it to keep a record of credit and tax history. The unique nine-digit D-U-N-S Number goes beyond the TIN.

Title 2 CFR § 25 require each new and renewing CACFP institution’s application to comply with the following:

  • The organization must be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting an application or plan;
  • Maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by the agency; and
  • Provide its unique entity identifier (D-U-N-S Number) in each application or plan it submits to the agency.

The System for Award Management (SAM) is the repository for standard information about applicants and recipients and can be accessed at


1.  Obtain a D-U-N-S Number by visiting the following link:

2.  Then register the assigned number at:

3.  Active registration will be verified by the agency prior to granting access to TIPS.

Current versions of all CACFP forms are found in the Download Forms section of TIPS. Log on to TIPS and from the CACFP screen select Applications from the menu at the top, scroll down the Item column, and select Download Forms.

Who can provide At-Risk Afterschool Meals?

Schools, public agencies, private non-profit organizations, and some for-profit child care centers located in low-income areas may receive meal reimbursement if they meet all of the following eligibility criteria.

The program:

Organizations may participate in the at-risk afterschool meals component as an independent afterschool program, or as a site under a sponsor. To be eligible to participate in the at-risk afterschool meals component of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), an afterschool program must:

  •  Be organized primarily to provide care for children after school or on the weekends, holidays or school vacations during the regular school day. 
  • Provides organized regularly scheduled activities (i.e., in a structured and supervised environment).
  • Include education or enrichment activities.
  • Be located in an eligible attendance area of a public school (an elementary, middle school or high school) where at least 50 percent of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program.

Note: There is no requirement that all students receiving meals participate in the offered activities. Students who are part of school sports teams and clubs can receive afterschool snacks or meals as part of a broad, overarching educational or enrichment program, but the program cannot be limited to a sports team.


CACFP-05-2015 - Health and Safety Inspection

CACFP-04-2015 - Area Eligibility

CACFP-03-2014 - Transitioning from At-Risk to SFSP



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