Adult Day Care Meals

As part of the CACFP, the Older Americans Act of 1987 made reimbursable meals similar to child and school lunch programs available to adult day care centers.

Eligible Participants

To qualify for the CACFP, an adult day care center must provide non-residential services to:

  • functionally impaired adults: chronically impaired disabled persons 18 years and older who are physically or mentally impaired to the extent that their capacity for independence and ability to carry out daily living activities are limited, or
  • persons 60 years and older

Requirements for participation are to:

  • be a public or private non-profit organization with tax-exempt status
  • be a for-profit adult day care centers with at least 25 % of their total enrollment or license capacity, whichever is less, receiving compensation under Title XX and/or Title XIX of the Social Security Act.
  • have a current Federal, state, or local license or approval to provide day care services in a group setting outside their homes on a less than 24 hour basis.
  • provide a community-based group program designed to meet the needs of adults through an individual plan of care
  • provide programs that are structured, comprehensive that provide a variety of health, social and related support services to enrolled participants

Meal Pattern Requirements

The CACFP reimburses centers for meals and/or snacks served and or/offered to adults that meet the following USDA meal pattern:


Food Group # of Servings
Bread/Grain 2*
Fruit and/or Vegetable 1
Milk 1

(Offer versus serve may decline any 1 serving)


Food Group # of Servings
Bread/Grain 2*
Fruit and/or Vegetable 2
Meat/meat alternate 2 oz serving*
Milk 1

(Offer versus serve may decline any 2 servings)


Food Group # of Servings
Bread/Grain 2*
Fruit and/or Vegetable 1
Meat 2 oz serving*
Milk No Requirement

(Offer versus serve may decline any 2 servings)

*Portion size is dependent on the type of bread/grain and/or meat/meat alternate item.


Snacks must consist of at least two of the four food components identified under lunch/supper.

Offer versus Serve (OVS)

OVS is a provision to be implemented at the discretion of the adult day care center. The intent is to reduce plate waste by allowing participants to choose only those foods they wish to consume. If a center chooses OVS, all the servings of the food components must be offered.


Reimbursement rates for meals and/or snacks served to adults in attendance are announced annually by the USDA based on changes in the Consumer Price Index of the preceding year. From these rates, a “blended rate” is established at the beginning of every fiscal year. The blended rate is based on the income level and the household size of each enrolled participant. Those receiving benefits from Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Food Stamps, Medicaid or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservation (FDPIR) benefits are categorically eligible for free meals.

Centers may be authorized to serve up to six meals but may be reimbursed for two meals and one snack or two snacks and one meal per participant per day.

Reimbursement for the same meal cannot be claimed under both the CACFP and Title IIIc of the Older Americans Act of 1965.

If you have any further questions about the Child and Adult Care Food Program please contact: Arizona Department of Education, Child Nutrition Programs, (602) 542-8700 or 1-800-352-4558.

The USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.