CACFP Policy Memo Number 209

DOH-CACFP: Number 209 (07/19)

Supersedes Number 98 (07/04)

TO: CACFP Sponsoring Organizations of Emergency Shelters

FROM: Lois Hazelton, Assistant Director

SUBJECT: Participation of Emergency Shelters in CACFP

I. Purpose and Scope

The purpose of the policy memorandum is to provide guidance on the participation of emergency shelters in CACFP.

II. Program Eligibility

  1. An emergency shelter is defined as any facility whose primary purpose is to provide temporary shelter and food services to homeless families with children.
  2. Public and private nonprofit emergency homeless shelters meeting state or local health and safety standards can participate in CACFP on a year-round basis.
  3. CACFP reimbursement is available only to children who reside in an emergency shelter. Reimbursement is not available to visiting children who do not reside in the shelter. Meals served to adults and children nineteen years of age or older are not reimbursable under CACFP.

III. Program Requirements

    A. Meal Reimbursement ~

  1. Emergency shelters may be reimbursed for serving up to three reimbursable meals, or two meals and one snack, per age-eligible resident child per day, including weekends.
  2. Age-eligible resident children who receive meals and snacks served in the shelter's food service will be automatically eligible for free meals and snacks, without the need for the families to complete an income eligibility application.
  3. Only meals served in congregate meal settings are eligible for reimbursement. Meals consumed in private family quarters are not reimbursable by CACFP. An exception: No. 209 (07/19) Page 1 of 3: will be made for infants from birth through 12 months of age who may be served in private family quarters. Those meals may be claimed for reimbursement if the emergency shelter provides all the required components to the infant's parent or guardian, and maintains records documenting that sufficient food has been served to meet the meal pattern requirement.
  4. If a shelter's food service is not conducted exclusively for the benefit of children, the shelter must maintain separate records of the meals it serves to eligible and non- eligible residents.
  5. Shelters may use funds from other Federal sources to support their food service operations. These funds can be used to enhance the meal service or to cover the costs of feeding those not eligible for CACFP reimbursement.
  6. The shelter cannot charge or collect payments for CACFP meals and snacks served to children, although they can assess a fee for a portion of the family's food stamp allotment if the charge is not a per-meal charge.
  7. Shelters may use donated foods and meals and claim those meals as long as creditable amounts of each required component are provided. Documentation must be on file as to the source of the donations and the type and amounts of food donated. The shelter may have to add other food items to the meal service to meet the requirements of a reimbursable meal.
  8. Residents may be allowed to prepare and serve their own meals, but the shelter must provide the food and supervision. The shelter is responsible for ensuring that the meals and snacks are served and consumed in a congregate meal setting, that meals meet the meal pattern requirements and that records to support the claims are maintained.
  9. B. Licensing/Approval Requirements ~

      Emergency shelters are not required to have a Federal, State or local license in order to participate in CACFP. In the absence of a license, they must comply with all applicable State and local health and safety standards.

    C. Recordkeeping Requirements ~

    To request reimbursement for meals and snacks served to children residing in emergency shelters, shelters must keep records that are adequate to determine the proper utilization of CACFP funds. At a minimum, the shelter must maintain:

      A daily roster of children receiving meals and snacks

      Total meal counts by type of meal

      Menus for infant meals and menus for meals served to children

      Receipts for food and food service related expenses

    D. Commodities ~

    An approved shelter may receive CACFP reimbursement and commodities or cash-in- lieu of commodities for meals served to children. A shelter may continue to receive and use any or all commodity foods from The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) to prepare meals and snacks served to children in CACFP and other clients. The shelter must be able to accurately document the number of meals served to children in CACFP and maintain adequate records of these meals.

If you have questions, please contact CACFP at 1-800-942-3858, option 4.