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Additional State Agency Requirements in the CACFP

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FNS Document #
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Policy Memos
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PDF Icon Policy Memo (98.55 KB)
DATE: March 29, 2013
SUBJECT: Additional State Agency Requirements in the Child and Adult Care Food Program
TO: Regional Directors
Special Nutrition Programs
All Regions
State Directors
Child Nutrition Programs
All States

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide a standard process to be used by state agencies when requesting approval to implement additional requirements for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). States may impose additional requirements which must be consistent with CACFP federal requirements, not deny access to the program to eligible institutions, and have been reviewed and approved by the applicable Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) regional office [7 CFR §226.25(b)]. This standard process will provide a straightforward method for state agencies and FNS regional offices to use in the review and approval process.

State agencies must submit a written request for review and approval to the appropriate FNS Special Nutrition Programs regional director at least 30 days prior to the date of implementation of the proposed additional requirement. The state agency must receive written approval from the FNS regional office before initiating implementation of the proposed requirement. A prototype state agency request form is attached, which state agencies may use. At a minimum, state agencies must include the following information when submitting a request for proposed additional requirements to the FNS regional office:

  • a description of the proposed additional requirement, including the affected CACFP institutions and participants
  • a description of what the proposed additional requirement is intended to accomplish and
  • an assurance that the proposed additional requirement will not deny access to eligible institutions and participants.

FNS regional offices will review requests from state agencies and determine whether the additional requirements conform to the regulatory requirements as discussed above. An FNS regional office may approve a proposed additional requirement for a specific period of time with a maximum of three years. FNS also may revoke the approval of a proposed additional requirement based on changes made to the program or issues that may arise after the implementation of the additional requirement. A decision by an FNS regional office not to approve a proposed additional requirement does not provide an opportunity for appeal by the state agency.

State agencies may not deny an application, disallow meals that are otherwise reimbursable, assess an overclaim, declare a sponsor seriously deficient, or terminate a sponsor based solely on the violation of an additional state agency requirement. Instead, such a violation may result in a finding, whereby the state agency may require corrective action. As noted above, however, failure to correct the finding may not result in disallowance of the federal reimbursement or other adverse action as provided for in the CACFP regulations.

State agencies that have already implemented additional requirements that have not been reviewed and approved by the FNS regional office must submit a request for review and approval. Going forward, CACFP management evaluations will include a review of additional requirements imposed by state agencies. The FNS regional office will issue a finding to address any noncompliance should it be determined that a state agency has implemented additional requirements without FNS regional office approval.

Please note, 7 CFR §226.6(f)(3)(iv) allows state agencies to put in place certain specific additional requirements. Because these are specifically permitted by the regulations they would not be considered additional state agency requirements subject to FNS regional office approval. Similarly, 7 CFR §226.15(e) requires institutions to maintain any records required by the state agency. Therefore, additional record requirements established by the state agency, including production records, are not subject to FNS regional office approval and are enforceable with fiscal action by the state agency.

State agencies should direct any questions concerning this guidance to the appropriate FNS regional office.

Melissa Rothstein
Acting Director
Child Nutrition Division


Page updated: March 17, 2023

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.