Once an organization or provider is approved to participate in CACFP, as a part of their regular program operations they provide meals that meet the USDA’s nutrition requirements to eligible infants, children, or adults in their care. The organization will then receive cash reimbursements for qualifying meals.
Child care centers, adult day care centers, afterschool programs, and emergency shelters may participate in the CACFP independently (receiving training, support, and reimbursements directly from CDSS) or under a sponsoring organization (receiving training, support, and reimbursements from the sponsoring organization).
Day care home providers may participate in the CACFP only under a sponsoring organization. A CACFP sponsoring organization (or CACFP sponsor) is a qualifying organization that operates the CACFP on behalf of one or more other CACFP-participating organizations (like care centers or day care home providers). The sponsor enters into an agreement with CDSS that says they will take responsibility for training, monitoring, and distributing cash reimbursements to the CACFP participants under them. Sponsors help their communities by reducing the amount of work that smaller organizations need to do to participate in the program—therefore helping more people gain access to nutritious meals!