Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Facts About the Adult Component of CACFP of the CACFP

The Child and Adult Care Food Program supports institutions wanting to initiate or improve food service in a variety of settings, including for adults receiving day care. CACFP reimburses centers that provide adult day services to help them serve nutritious meals to functionally impaired adults.

What is considered an adult day care center in CACFP?

Licensed or approved adult day care centers that are operated by public, private nonprofit organizations, and certain for-profit organizations may participate in CACFP, if they serve elderly persons 60 years of age or older or chronically impaired disabled persons, 18 years of age or older. 

An eligible center must be nonresidential and provide a community-based program. These programs should be structured, comprehensive and provide health and social support services to enrolled participants. Centers that simply provide social or rehabilitative services to adults do not qualify to participate in CACFP.

Can senior citizens who live in institutions participate in CACFP?

No. Individuals who reside in institutions are not eligible to participate in the program under the adult component of CACFP.

Can an individual receive CACFP meals independent of a participating institution?

No. In CACFP, there are individual eligibility requirements as well as institutional requirements. Because this program requires that meals and snacks are served through participating institutions, individuals may not independently participate in CACFP.

Do meals and snacks served in the CACFP meet the nutritional needs of senior citizens?

The meal patterns required under CACFP were developed based on the nutritional needs of all participants. Different meal patterns have been established for adults and children to meet the unique needs of each group. CACFP allows food substitutions or modifications to be made to accommodate individuals with special medical or dietary needs.

Who receives reimbursement for meals or snacks served in the CACFP?

Public or private nonprofit adult day care facilities which provide structured, comprehensive services to nonresidential adults who are functionally impaired, or aged 60 and older, may participate in CACFP as independent or householded centers. For-profit centers may be eligible for CACFP if at least 25 percent of their participants receive benefits under title XIX or title XX.

Participating institutions receive cash reimbursement for meals or snacks served to adults under this program. The reimbursement to centers is based on the number of enrolled participants in their care that are eligible for free or reduced price meals based on each participant’s income status. Individuals receive meals or snacks, not cash reimbursements from the Department of Agriculture.

Please contact your state agency for more information on participating in CACFP

CACFP is a federal program which is administered at the state level. If you have any questions regarding participation in CACFP or would like more detailed information, please contact your state agency representative.

Additional Resources
Page updated: November 02, 2023