The Mississippi Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides non-residential child care services in Even Start and Head Start centers, child care centers, day care homes, and adult day care centers. The children and adults can receive three meal types each day: breakfast, lunch, supper, or snack (of which one must be a snack). The Office of Child Nutrition of Mississippi Department of Education is the administrator of the program under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Services (FNS). This office provides leadership, guidance, training and technical assistance for local school districts, daycare centers, head start centers and Residential Child Care Institutions (RCCI’s).
The program works by providing meals at subsidized prices to these centers to help them improve the quality of food. Approved child care centers in Mississippi provide meals and snacks through CACFP to children age 12 or younger. Family day care homes provide meals and snacks to small groups of children receiving nonresidential day care in licensed or approved private homes. Emergency shelter providers also offer residential and food services to homeless families through the program to age group 18 and younger. Various public, private nonprofit, and some for-profit adult day care facilities which provide structured, comprehensive services to functionally impaired, or adults over age 60 can participate in CACFP.
The main goal of the Mississippi Child and Adult Care Food Program is to make meals more accessible by making it affordable to families in need. The families living on a fixed budget cannot afford regular food and other expenses. The CACFP program helps such families to afford nutritious meals without compromising on the health of their children. This leads them to live a healthy lifestyle by incorporating healthy and nutritious food in their diet. Those healthy food items are given daily to the applicants which helps improve the daycare center conditions.
The individual’s interest in the Mississippi Child and Adult Care Food Program has to find a child daycare center or adult daycare center in their locality that participates in the CACFP program to avail the program’s benefits. It is important to check if the daycare center is participating in the Mississippi Child and Adult Care Food Program. You can go to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to check if the daycare centers are licensed to participate in the CACFP in the state of Mississippi.
The meal patterns of the program are: in breakfast, the participants are provided with a serving of milk along with a fruit or vegetable or food that is rich in grains. For lunch is dinner, the meal includes meat or its alternative for people who are vegan or cannot have meat for certain medical reasons. Along with that, the meal contains milk, grain or bread, and there is an option between fruits and vegetables. For snacks, there is an option to choose from fruits, vegetables, grain or meat.
There are certain factors that determine your eligibility for the Mississippi Child and Adult Care Food Program and if you fulfill those requirements you can qualify for the program’s benefits. Those include,
- If the candidate is 12 years of age or younger than they are eligible for the CACFP program
- If the candidate is 15 years of age or younger and a migrant than they can apply for the CACFP program
- Candidates who are within 18 years of age, living in an emergency shelter homes are eligible for the CACFP program in Mississippi
- Children with impaired functioning living in the daycare centers are eligible for the CACFP program.
- Adults who are functionally impaired or are either 60 years of age or older living in an adult day care center can apply for the CACFP program in the state of Mississippi
To check income eligibility guidelines, you can visit this link.
How to Apply
The applicant can use different methods to apply for the Mississippi Child and Adult Care Food Program. It makes the whole process very flexible and applicants can choose the method more easy for them.
- You can get access to useful resources of Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) at this link.
- If the applicant is interested in submitting their application in person, they can visit the nearby office.
The application process takes very little time and once you finish the form you can wait for your confirmation number which will be provided to you shortly afterward. It is advisable to apply before the due date to be able to get the benefits of the Mississippi Child and Adult Care Food Program.
For Further Information
For more information about the Mississippi Child and Adult Care Food Program you can visit this page and links of useful resources are available at the Mississippi Department of Education CACFP page. The web pages provide complete and accurate information about the program. The above-mentioned web page will help you learn more about the program and its requirements related to the application process and eligibility criteria, the program’s working procedure, the types of meals served and more.
You may also call the National Hunger Hotline. Hotline staff can help you find food near where you live: 1-866-348-6479 or call Mississippi child nutrition assistance staff at 601-576-5000