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USDA Food Program - Providers Choice

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USDA Food Program

fruit The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federal program of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). It provides reimbursement to child care providers and centers to help them serve nutritious meals and snacks.

USDA Food Program Website

How Does It Work?

It's as easy as 1-2-3:
  1. Sign up for free with Providers Choice to be your Food Program sponsor | You just need to be a licensed Minnesota child care provider
  2. Serve meals that meet the USDA meal pattern requirements | Providers Choice can help with the paperwork and meal planning with our free online software
  3. Receive monthly reimbursements | To make it easy, you can sign up for direct deposit

How Much Cash Will I Receive?

The amount of reimbursement you receive depends on:

  • the number of meals you serve
  • the number of kids in your care
  • your Tier 1 or Tier 2 determination *
*Tier determination is based on: the area you live in, your household income, or the income of the families you serve. Contact Us for more information on your Tier determination.

If you're serving breakfast, lunch and snacks to 6 full-time children you may receive between $3,270 and $6,810 per year.

Following are the current Tier 1 and Tier 2 rates in effect from 7/01/2020 - 6/30/2021.

Meal Tier 1 Tier 2
Breakfast $1.39 $.50
Lunch/Supper $2.61 $1.58
Snacks $.78 $.21

When Will I receive My Food Program Reimbursement?

You submit a monthly claim at the end of each month. Claims received in the Providers Choice office by 3:00 PM on Thursday of the current week are typically paid the following week on Friday (via direct deposit or mail).

Contact Us for more information on reimbursement.

Benefits of the Food Program

Why participate in the Food Program?

  • The program attracts families to your child care home
  • Your children benefit from the nutritious meals you serve
  • You receive financial reimbursements that help your cash flow
Find out why more than 4000 child care providers in Minnesota choose to participate with Providers Choice.

USDA Meal Requirements

Get information on the Food Program meal pattern requirements. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to print the information. Download Adobe Reader for free.

Meal Pattern for Infants

Meal Pattern for Children

Tax Advantages

As with any business, you have to pay income taxes. With your food costs the same, but more money coming in from the USDA Food Program, your income goes up!

The monthly increase in your income is like getting a raise. You have to pay taxes on your raise, but it's still a raise! Here is a Tax Comparison Chart that points out the after-tax income benefits of participating in the USDA Food Program.

Claiming Your Own Children

In addition to receiving reimbursement for your day care children, the USDA does allow reimbursement for your own children under these circumstances:

  • Your child is 12 years of age or younger.
  • You remain within your license capacity.
  • Your household income falls within the USDA Income Guidelines.
  • One of your enrolled day care children is eating the same meal you're claiming for your own child.