USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program served more than 4.3 million children in 2018
On a typical day in fiscal year 2018, USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provided subsidized meals and snacks to more than 4.3 million children at child care centers and family day care homes. Participation in CACFP through child care centers has grown from 1.7 million children in 2000 to 3.6 million in 2018, while participation through family day care homes has dropped from 1 million children in 2000 to fewer than 800,000 in 2018. The rise in center-based participation more than offset the decline in home-based participation through 2017, resulting in participation in CACFP increasing from 2.7 million children in 2000 to 4.4 million in 2017. The number of children attending centers who participated in the program in 2018 was the same as in 2017, but fewer children in day care homes participated. The program also provided subsidized meals for 131,634 older or functionally impaired adults at adult day care centers in 2018. Meals and snacks served to CACFP participants must meet USDA nutrition standards to receive Federal reimbursements. USDA’s costs for CACFP in fiscal 2018 totaled $3.6 billion. This chart appears on the chart page of ERS’s Child Nutrition Programs topic page.
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