Reimbursement for Meals and Snacks Served at Child and Adult Care Food Program Emergency Shelters after the Public Health Emergency Ends
February 15, 2023
Temporary Reimbursement for Meals and Snacks Served to Young People (age 19-24) in Emergency Shelters to End May 11, 2023
During the pandemic, emergency shelters participating in the CACFP were temporarily allowed to claim reimbursement for meals and snacks served to individuals under the age of 25. The Food and Nutrition Service announced that these temporary authorized reimbursements are expected to end on May 11, 2023, concurrent with the expiration of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Why it Matters
Emergency shelters operating the CACFP will be required to return to pre-pandemic regulations starting May 11. Therefore, meals served to young people aged 19-24 will no longer be reimbursable through the CACFP. It is important that emergency shelters are aware of this change to reimbursement, in order to adjust their budgets and program operations accordingly.
This memorandum notifies State agencies and program operators that temporary authority to claim reimbursement for meals and snacks served to young people between the ages of 19 and 24 in emergency shelters participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)1 , will end when the COVID-19 public health emergency ends, which is expected on May 11, 2023. During the COVID-19 public health emergency, Section 1107 of the American Rescue Plan Act (Public Law 117-2) directed the Secretary of Agriculture to reimburse emergency shelters for meals and snacks provided to young people under the age of 25 who reside in an emergency shelter or receive services from an emergency shelter participating as a CACFP at-risk afterschool center. Reimbursement was authorized from the date of enactment of Public Law 117-2 until the date the public health emergency is lifted.
Pursuant to a February 9, 2023 declaration by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, the current public health emergency has been extended to May 11, 2023. The Administration has announced that, at present, the plan is for the current public health emergency to expire on that date. In the event that the emergency ends on May 11, the last day that emergency shelters will be eligible to claim reimbursement for CACFP meals and snacks served to young people over age 18 will be May 11, 2023. However, emergency shelters may continue to claim CACFP reimbursement for meals and snacks served to children and youth up to age 18. Therefore, upon the expiration of the public health emergency, this memorandum will supersede CACFP 08-2021, Reimbursement for Meals and Snacks Served to Young Adults in the Child and Adult Care Food Program: Implementation Guidance for State Agencies, April 9, 2021.
The Food and Nutrition Service appreciates the exceptional effort of State agencies and local CACFP operators that worked to meet the nutritional needs of children and adult participants during the public health emergency. State agencies are reminded to distribute this memorandum to Program operators immediately. Program operators should direct any questions concerning this guidance to their State agency. State agencies with questions should contact the appropriate FNS Regional Office.
Read the full guidance: Reimbursement for Meals and Snacks Served at Child and Adult Care Food Program Emergency Shelters after the Public Health Emergency Ends (CACFP 03-2023).