AUSTIN (KAMR/KCIT) — The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) offers federally funded free and reduced meals at sites across Texas said Sid Miller, Texas Agriculture Commissioner.

Miller said in a news release that he wanted to remind people that the program, administered by the Texas Department of Agriculture, offers free and reduced-price meals at multiple sites.

The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and looks to make healthy meals and snacks available to eligible children and adults in need. TDA partners with approximately 12,000 CACFP sites including adult daycare centers, childcare centers, home-based daycares, and afterschool programs.

The news release states that Miller wanted to promote the connection between the program and Texas agriculture.

The meals meet specific nutrition standards and are available at no separate charge for enrolled participants at daycare centers and homes and in at-risk afterschool programs that include meals as part of tuition.

In centers, daycare homes, and at-risk afterschool programs where meals are charged separately from tuition, the following groups automatically qualify for free meals:

  • Children in households getting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits; receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits; or who are enrolled in Early Head Start; Head Start or Even Start Programs; or who receive Food Distribution Programs on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) benefits automatically qualify for free meals through participating CACFP providers.
  • Foster children placed with a caregiver by the state or courts are eligible for free meals. If you have foster children living with you and wish to apply for free meals for your foster child, contact your participating childcare center or daycare home for assistance.
  • Adults who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, Food Distribution Programs on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) benefits, and Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) automatically qualify for free meals.

The following groups may qualify for free or reduced-price meals depending on their eligibility information as indicated in their application:

  • Children in households that do not receive any of the above assistance may qualify for free or reduced-price meals based on household income.
  • Parents or guardians who become unemployed may apply for free or reduced-price meals on behalf of their children at any time during the period of unemployment.
  • Children and adults in households participating in Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women; Infants and Children (WIC) may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals.
  • Adults who do not receive any of the above assistance may qualify for free or reduced-price meals based on household income.

The news release said that applications can be found by requesting them at childcare centers, adult daycare centers, or daycare home providers that participate in the program. Sites that participate in CACFP can be found by calling 877-839-6325.

More information and income eligibility guidelines can be found here.