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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

Request for Information Form

Contact Us:
Phone: (615) 313-4749

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:, 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

Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2) fax: (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

Licensed child care centers
Head Start Programs
Emergency shelters providing residential and food services to homeless children
Family child care homes, including relative care providers
Some private, for-profit and non-profit child care centers
Adult Day Care Centers 

Please contact our office by phone at (615) 313-4749 for access to the online application system. All applications must be submitted via (TIPS) the Tennessee Information Payment System available at:

To ensure data integrity and for tracking purposes, please do not attempt to mail or deliver an application in person, and please do not attempt to fax or scan it in.

Tennessee Department of Human Services
Child and Adult Care Food Program
Phone Number: (615) 313-4749
Fax Number: (615) 313-6683
400 Deaderick St., 8th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243

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



Grant Opportunities

Hunger Champion

Please have all CACFP personnel review the Civil Rights training.  When all personnel have reviewed the training, please enter the names and job titles of the personnel on the Training Roster, and return the completed Training Roster to the following address:

Tennessee Department of Human Services
400 Deaderick Street, 8th Floor
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-1403

CACFP Free and Reduced Price Meals

Civil Rights PowerPoint

Civil Rights Training Roster

Family Day Homes Policy & Procedures