The USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides financial reimbursement to emergency shelters serving healthy meals and snacks to their participants. Whether your shelter serves healthy-made meals or commodity foods, you can receive funds for the food served to children and youth in your shelter.

Our team members take on the administrative and financial tasks of the CACFP, which includes providing forms, processing paperwork, training staff, and coordinating with state and federal agencies on your behalf.

Partners in Quality Care sponsors emergency shelters that participate on the CACFP to receive funds for the healthy meals and snacks served to children and youth.

Do You Qualify?

All emergency shelters, including homeless shelters, qualify for the CACFP as long as they are a nonprofit institution or a temporary residential site sponsored by a public or private nonprofit agency. Emergency shelters do not have to be licensed to provide care. However, the shelter must meet any health and safety codes that are required by State or local law.

The Benefits of CACFP

  • Financial Reimbursement: Programs on the CACFP receive funds for up to 2 meals and 1 snack, or 1 meal and 2 snacks per enrolled adult each day.
  • Nutrition: As a licensed emergency shelter, you are already required to provide meals and snacks that meet ⅓ of the Recommended Dietary Allowance. The CACFP meal pattern requirements are designed to satisfy this requirement. By working with Partners In Quality Care you will have access to our registered dietitian at no cost to your program. And participating in the CACFP means that your program can afford to provide healthy meals and snacks!

How Much Work is the CACFP?

Being on the CACFP adds just a few extra steps for most emergency shelters. If you are already providing meals to the children and youth in your care, then you are already doing most of what you need to do to receive CACFP funds.

Every day, you need to:

  • Keep attendance records of the children and youth (actual names are not required)
  • Record how many children and youth ate a meal or snack using paper or an easy mobile app
  • Record your menu

Every month, you need to:

  • Send your meal counts, menus, and receipts to Partners in Quality Care

Every year, you need to:

  • Receive hands-on training from Partners in Quality Care


Partners in Quality Care is a leading advocate for emergency shelters. If your emergency shelter could benefit from funds to pay for food, contact us today! We can help you navigate the paperwork and processes of the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program.