The At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program offers a
meal or snack to children in low-income areas,
a safe place to go after school, time to spend
with their friends in physical,
educational, and social
activities, and provides a
much needed service
to local communities.
WHO ADMINISTERS THE PROGRAM?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and
Nutrition Service (FNS) administers CACFP at the national
level. Within Alabama, the program is administered by the
State Department of Education.
Locally, public or private non-profit or for-profit
organizations that want to “sponsor” the program apply
and are approved by the state agency to operate the
program. These sponsoring organizations sign an
agreement with the state of Alabama and are responsible
for overseeing the program at the sites they sponsor.
Sponsors receive the federal reimbursement through the
Alabama State Department of Education to cover the
administrative and operating costs of preparing and
serving meals to eligible children at their program sites.
However, centers offering an afterschool program are not
required to work with a sponsor to participate in CACFP.
They may apply directly to the Alabama State Department
WHAT ARE THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS?
Organizations may participate in the at-risk afterschool
meals component of CACFP as an independent afterschool
program or through a sponsor.
To be eligible in the at-risk afterschool meals component
of CACFP either independently or through a sponsor, an
afterschool program must:
- Be organized primarily to provide care for children
after school or on weekends, holidays, or school
vacations during the regular school year ONLY
- Provide organized regularly scheduled activities in a
structured and supervised environment
- Include education or enrichment activities
- Be located in an eligible area
At-risk afterschool programs that meet the requirements
above must be operated by an eligible organization to
receive reimbursement. Eligible organizations are those that:
- Meet state and/or local licensing or health and safety
- Are operated by public agencies, tax-exempt
nonprofit organizations, or for-profit organizations
that meet the requirements or are currently
participating in another federal program requiring
A program must be located in an eligible area. The site
must be located in the attendance area of a public
school where at least 50 percent of the students
are eligible for free or reduced price meals
under the NSLP. A site’s area eligibility
determination made under CACFP is
valid for 5 years
WHAT IS IN A MEAL?
The CACFP meal patterns require at-risk afterschool
centers to serve meals that meet the nutritional needs of
children, are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for
Americans, and are appetizing.
There are no federal requirements regarding the timing of
meal service. However, the service of a meal or snack
must occur during the operation of the school’s afterschool
care program. Snacks or suppers or a combination of both
may be served in the at-risk afterschool program. All food
components must be served to each child all at the same
time. The chart below shows the required components for
snacks and meals, with some of the minimum required
serving sizes for reimbursable meals.