Federal Hunger Relief Programs
Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federal program that provides reimbursements for nutritious meals and snacks to eligible children and adults who are enrolled for care at participating child care centers, day care homes, and adult day care centers. CACFP also provides reimbursements for meals served to children and youth participating in afterschool care programs, children residing in emergency shelters, and adults over the age of 60 or living with a disability and enrolled in day care facilities. CACFP contributes to the wellness, healthy growth, and development of young children and adults in the United States.
New York State Department of Health annually receives funding from the federal government to support and further enhance New York’s Child and Adult Care Food Program’s (CACFP) statewide. The CACFP initiative is supported through an entitlement program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and continues New York’s commitment of promoting the health and well being of its residents.
The CACFP serves:
- CHILD CARE CENTERS, including head start centers, and outside school hour programs serving children up to 12 years of age;
- HOME-BASED FAMILY and GROUP CHILD CARE, including legally exempt providers caring for subsidized children;
- COMMUNITY-BASED ADULT DAY CARE CENTERS that are approved by federal, state or local authorities to provide day care services to adults with disabilities; and
- HOMELESS SHELTERS providing meals to resident children living with a parent or guardian.
The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)
The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) works to improve the health of low-income persons at least 60 years of age by supplementing their diets with nutritious USDA Foods. USDA distributes both food and administrative funds to participating states and Indian Tribal Organizations to operate CSFP.
The New York State Department of Health’s Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) offers free, nutritious foods to seniors aged 60 years of age and older. Approximately 33,000 seniors participate in CSFP monthly. During the summer months, participants also receive additional benefits to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets through the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program.
CSFP is available in New York City and Long Island only.
The program’s goal is to ensure that participants receive adequate nutritious foods.
Learn more about CSFP in New York State:
National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
The National School Lunch Program is a federally assisted meal program operating in over 100,000 public and non‐profit private schools and residential child care institutions. It provided nutritionally balanced, low‐cost or free lunches to more than 31 million children each school day in 2012. In 1998, Congress expanded the National School Lunch Program to include reimbursement for snacks served to children in afterschool educational and enrichment programs to include children through 18 years of age. The Food and Nutrition Service administers the program at the Federal level. At the State level, the National School Lunch Program is usually administered by State education agencies, which operate the program through agreements with school food authorities.
New York State Education Department annually receives funding from the federal government to support and further enhance New York’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
School Breakfast Program
The School Breakfast Program is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. It began as a pilot project in 1966, and was made permanent in 1975. The School Breakfast Program is administered at the Federal level by the Food and Nutrition Service. At the State level, the program is usually administered by State education agencies, which operate the program through agreements with local school food authorities in more than 89,000 schools and institutions.
Providing breakfast at school can also ensure that children are getting enough to eat. Children who eat breakfast have been shown to work faster and make fewer mistakes in math problems and to perform better on vocabulary tests than those who did not eat or only had a partial breakfast.A brief compiled by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) outlines the correlation between breakfast and school performance among children, based on numerous research findings. The findings include how eating, and not eating, breakfast affects academics, brain function, and overall wellness. They also show improved concentration, alertness, comprehension, memory and learning.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
SNAP offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities. SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) issues electronic benefits that can be used like cash to purchase food. SNAP helps low-income working people, senior citizens, the disabled and others feed their families. Eligibility and benefit levels are based on household size, income and other factors. New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance annually receives funding from the federal government to support and further enhance New York’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Research shows that low-income households participating in SNAP have access to more food energy, protein, and a broad array of essential vitamins and minerals in their home food supply compared to eligible nonparticipants. Nationwide, if there were a 5 percentage point increase in the SNAP participation rate, an additional 1.9 million low-income people would reap the nutrition benefits of SNAP. SNAP also helps participants manage their food resources more wisely through SNAP nutrition education.
For the past several decades, the legislation authorizing SNAP has been included in the Farm Bill. In fact, the nutrition title is the largest of the 12 titles covered in the Farm Bill. Of the programs covered by nutrition, SNAP accounts for 95% of all spending. Overall, nutrition spending makes up 80% of the total budget for the Farm Bill. Nutrition in the United States is thus very much determined by the provisions, policies and funding allocations in the U.S. Farm Bill.
Learn more about SNAP:
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
WIC stands for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. WIC provides nutritious foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and access to health care for low-income pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and children under five. The monthly WIC food package provides foods chosen to improve nutrition for pregnant women, new mothers, and children. WIC is not an entitlement program as Congress does not set aside funds to allow every eligible individual to participate in the program. WIC is a Federal grant program for which Congress authorizes a specific amount of funds each year for the program. WIC is housed within the state departments
of health and operates interdependently with other public health programs. Providing referral services
to health care and social services, WIC is a “gateway to the health care and social service systems,” which enables more comprehensive health promotion and disease prevention in the WIC population. New York State Department of Health annually receives funding from the federal government to support and further enhance New York’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
The Emergency Feeding Program (TEFAP)
Through TEFAP, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) purchases USDA Foods, including processing and packaging, and makes it available to State Distributing Agencies. The amount of food that each State receives out of the total amount of food that is provided is based on the number of unemployed persons and the number of people with incomes below the poverty level in the State. States provide the food to local agencies that they have selected, usually food banks, which in turn, distribute the food to local organizations such as soup kitchens and food pantries that directly serve the public. The amount of food each State receives out of the total amount of food provided is based on the number of unemployed persons and the number of people with incomes below the poverty level in the State. In New York TEFAP is managed through the Office of General Services, which provides the food to New York’s food banks.