|DATE:||May 23, 2006|
|POLICY MEMO:||CACFP 04-2006|
|SUBJECT:||Sponsor Monitoring of Facilities in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)|
Child Nutrition Programs
Special Nutrition Programs
It has come to our attention that there is some uncertainty regarding proper application of the monitoring requirements for sponsoring organizations set forth at § 226.16(d) of the CACFP regulations. Specifically, we have been asked to clarify whether the regulations require that, when sponsors have facilities claiming breakfasts, suppers, post-supper snacks, or weekend meals, it is necessary for the sponsor to monitor each of these meal services. This memorandum provides guidance on that issue, and replaces CACFP Memorandum # 04-2006, issued on Jan. 20, 2006. It is not our intent to change the policy set forth in the Jan. 20 guidance. Rather, in response to questions, we hope to further clarify the policy set forth in that memorandum.
The introductory paragraph of §226.16(d) states that, “Each sponsoring organization must provide adequate supervisory and operational personnel for the effective management and monitoring of the program at all facilities it sponsors.” In order to meet this requirement, a sponsoring organization with facilities claiming breakfasts, suppers, post-supper snacks, or weekend meals must provide oversight of all types of meal services being claimed by its facilities. Monitoring all meal service types being claimed by their facilities is the only meaningful way for sponsors to ensure that Program requirements are being met, and that their facilities are accurately claiming meals for each type of meal service they provide.
To further explain what is meant by the requirement to “monitor all meal services”, the following questions and answers are provided:
- §226.16(d)(4)(i) and (d)(4)(ii) set forth the content requirements for each facility review conducted by a sponsor. Each review must examine a facility’s Program operation (e.g., meal pattern compliance, collection of enrollment forms, reconciliation of five days of meal counts, etc.);
- §226.16(d)(4)(iii) establishes requirements for the frequency of the reviews and the type of reviews a sponsor must conduct at each facility (three reviews per year, two of which must be unannounced, one of which must be an unannounced review of a meal service); and
- §226.16(d)(4)(iv) through (d)(4)(viii) establish additional requirements pertaining to sponsors’ reviews of their facilities.
Because the minimum Federal requirement is that each facility must receive one unannounced review of a meal service per year, it is impractical to suggest that a breakfast or supper review must necessarily include the observation of a meal service.
Rather, this memorandum’s intent can be met if, during a review of a breakfast or a supper, the sponsor’s monitor:
- Completes his/her review of all provider records, in accordance with §226.16(d)(4)(i) and (ii); and
- Is present during some part of the provider’s approved breakfast or supper times and, during that part of the review, compares the number of children in attendance to the number of children normally being claimed by the provider for that meal service.
However, if the sponsor wishes to count a breakfast or supper review as an unannounced meal service review under §226.16(d)(4)(iii)(B), then the monitor must comply with the state agency’s normal requirements for the conduct of the unannounced meal service review. In some states, this will require the monitor to stay in the home until the children have been served the meal; in other states, the monitor may be required to stay until the approved meal service time is over. In all states, in order for the breakfast or supper review to count as an unannounced meal service review under §226.16(d)(4)(iii)(B), the monitor must observe a significant portion of the meal service to determine whether it is in compliance with the appropriate meal pattern components and quantities at §226.20(b) or (c).
To assess a sponsor’s compliance with the requirements of this memorandum, a state agency (SA) must, during its review of a sponsor, determine whether the sponsor has made a reasonable effort to monitor all of the meal services being claimed by its facilities. For SAs, as for sponsors, conducting household contacts in sampled facilities claiming suppers or breakfasts might be an especially effective way to determine whether a facility is accurately reporting its meal counts for each meal service. If the SA determines that the sponsor has failed to manage and monitor all Program operations, it would be a serious deficiency under §226.6(c)(3)(ii)(C) and (O). The SA might also wish to supplement these onsite review efforts with a requirement that a sponsor document in its management plan its approach to ensuring that all types of meal services will be adequately monitored.
SAs with questions concerning this guidance should contact their regional office.
STANLEY C. GARNETT
Child Nutrition Division
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.