Requirements for participation – ES

To be eligible for participation in the CACFP shelters must provide residential and food services to homeless children and their guardians. It must be a public or private nonprofit institution. A shelter does not need to be licensed to provide day care. However, it must meet all applicable state and local health and safety requirements.

Eligible participants

  • Infants through 18 years of age
  • Children of migrant workers 15 years of age and under
  • Mentally or physically disabled children, regardless of their age

Shelter Responsibilities
To serve meals meeting program requirements, and to maintain required records which include:

  • daily attendance/meal count records
  • menus
  • menu production records

Meal Pattern Requirements
The following food groups must be served to all children. Portion requirements will vary according to childrens’ age:


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

Lunch or Supper

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

Food from any two of the four food groups identified under lunch/supper.

Eligible meals
Shelters may be authorized to serve up to a total six meals and snacks, but may only be reimbursed for 3 meals, two meals and one snack, or two snacks and one meal per child per day.

Feeding Infants
When claiming infants for reimbursement, a special infant meal pattern must be followed. An infant meal count sheet and infant feeding record must be maintained daily.

Reimbursement rates for meals and/or snacks served to children in attendance are announced annually by USDA based on changes in the Consumer Price Index of the preceding year. For emergency shelters, all meals and snacks are reimbursed at the free rate.


The following Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) training classes are offered monthly and are free of charge to new applicants and/or new personnel, however, registration is limited to 2 people per agency:

  1. CACFP Training For New Staff – Designed to assist centers currently operating the CACFP with a newly hired Director/staff member that is responsible for administering  the CACFP and overseeing its operations.
  2. How To Apply For CACFP – Designed for new applicants of licensed child and adult day care centers that wish to apply to participate in the CACFP.  An owner or administrator must attend to receive the application.
  3. At-Risk After School Program – Designed for new applicants of after school care programs that wish to apply to participate in the At-Risk Meals Program.  An owner or administrator must attend to receive the application.

Note: The CACFP team will evaluate applications and once the application is determined to be complete, approval will be granted within 30 days.

Nutrition education
Nutrition education resources are made available to organizations through the office of Child Nutrition programs and the Arizona Prevention Resource Center (APRC). Contact APRC at (602) 727-2772 or toll free 1-800-432-2772

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

The Child and Adult Care Food Program is available to all eligible children and adults without regard to race, color, disability, sex, national origin, or sexual orientation. Any person who believes that he or she has been discriminated against in any USDA related activity should contact the Secretary of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250.