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!

Let Us Sponsor You

Partners In Quality Care makes it easy to participate in the CACFP by being your sponsor! We take on the paperwork and the liability, and help you every step of the way. This includes the following:

Our team will submit your center’s application to the Department of Education on your behalf. If your center is a for-profit facility, we will document that at least 25% of the participants in attendance meet the income guidelines.

Your membership in the CACFP will require monthly communication with the Minnesota Department of Education, the Iowa Department of Education and the USDA. Our experiences team will coordinate all communication and paperwork with these agencies on your shelter’s behalf, so you can focus on the people and families you’re serving.

We provide forms, process paperwork, train staff, and coordinate with state and federal agencies on your behalf.

To receive funds, your center will be required to keep track of which participants are eating at each meal and snack. We can help you learn how to keep track on paper or provide you with a free app that can be used on a computer or mobile device.

Members of our team will visit your adult daycare center regularly to see how things are going and to help with any new training or process changes.

We provide education and training for your employees and volunteers. This helps them understand the rules of the CACFP including menus, meal service and required paperwork.

All menus will be reviewed by a registered dietitian for compliance with the CACFP meal pattern and state licensing requirements.

In special circumstances, we can hold a contract for catered meals for your program and also arrange for delivery of pre-packaged, shelf stable breakfast and snack items. In this arrangement, you do not receive funds as we use the money to pay the caterer and food supplier for the food you are receiving at no cost to your program.

*Not available in every area, please contact us if you are interested in this option.

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) Mail:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) Email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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 CACFP sponsor and advocate. 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.

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