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Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

CACFP helps child and adult care providers serve healthy meals and snacks to South Carolina’s children and aging adults.

  • CACFP reimburses child and adult care programs when they serve healthy meals and snacks as part of their program. 
  • CACFP invests in South Carolina’s economy by paying for CACFP meals. 
  • CACFP puts over $28 million in SC’s economy each year.
  • CACFP works to improve, develop, and maintain healthy diets and eating habits by providing guidelines for meals that help children grow and develop in a healthy way. 
  • All meals must meet USDA nutritional guidelines.
  • Programs enrolled in CACFP may provide breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks at no charge to families which can help make child and adult care more affordable for families.
  • CACFP also reimburses healthy meals and snacks served to children in afterschool programs and emergency shelters.
  • Over 1,300 child and adult care programs in South Carolina participate in CACFP.
  • CACFP programs serve approximately 19 million healthy meals annually.

In South Carolina, the Child and Adult Care Food Program is a key source of support for improving the nutritional quality of meals and snacks served to children and adults in day care.

The Child and Adult Care Food Program is a federally funded program that gives meal reimbursements to child care centers and adult day care centers for serving nutritious meals. The objectives of CACFP are to:

  • Improve the diets of children by providing nutritious meals
  • Help children develop good eating habits
  • Help adults maintain good diets by providing nutritious meals.

Services are provided to children ages 12 and under; migrant children 15 and younger; persons with disabilities regardless of their age enrolled in nonresidential child care centers or child care homes.

In afterschool programs and emergency shelters, services are provided to children up to age 18.

And, adults who are functionally impaired or over age 60 and receiving care in a nonresidential, licensed adult day care center may also receive these services.

The meals are provided by child care centers, child care homes, adult care centers, outside school hour centers, afterschool programs, and emergency shelters that plan and serve meals that follow the CACFP meal pattern guidelines.

Participating centers agree to serve meals as outlined in the CACFP meal pattern guidelines; serve creditable foods. These facilities may provide breakfast, lunch, supper and snacks (morning, afternoon and evening).

Organizations interested in participating in the CACFP will apply through the online SC CACFP system. To gain access to the system, principals of the organization must first attend training to learn about eligibility, record keeping and other program requirements. Training sessions for child care centers and afterschool programs are offered monthly.  Bi-monthly sessions are offered for adult care centers. Training for emergency shelters is offered on an as-need basis. An appointment will be made for a pre-approval visit to all centers submitting an acceptable application.

Child care home providers may only participate in CACFP through a sponsoring organization. A list of the current sponsors in SC is located here

To start the process for applying to participate in the CACFP click here

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