Child and Adult Care Food Program

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) operates Year Round

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the Child and Adult Care Food Program(CACFP) at the national level. In Missouri, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services administers the program. Locally, the City of St.Louis, Department of Human Services (DHS), is the sponsor of the CACFP. The Division of Youth and Family Services(YFS) provides administrative oversight for the program.

Daycare Centers

The Child and Adult Care Food Program are designed to provide nutritious meals to pre-school and school-aged children in child care facilities.  The City of St. Louis Department of Human Services - Division of Youth and Family Services is a local sponsor of this program. Free meals will be provided to children 1-12 years of age and enrolled in child-care centers throughout the school year at participating centers located in both the city and county areas of St. Louis. 

Types of Centers

Regular Centers

A licensed day care center that provides child care services for eight (8) hours or more to children age 1 to 5. It is suitable for children who need individual care. Child/Adult ratio is at least 10 to 1 at any given time.

Outside School Hours Centers (OSHC)

An agency, facility, school or church which provides before school and/or after-school services directly to school-aged children within the facility. Such services may include supervision, assistance with schoolwork or homework, and enrichment activities. The OSHC offers adult supervised care, usually to school age children age 5 through 12 years. The Child/Adult ratio is at least 16 to 1 at any given time.


In order for for-profit institutions to qualify for the CACFP at least 25 percent of the facility's enrollment or licensed capacity, whichever is less, must have their care paid for through Title XX or Title XIX funds.

After School At-Risk Program

The After School At-Risk Program is designed to provide nutritious snacks and meals to children participating in after school programs during the regular school year. These food programs not only benefit children by providing needed nutrition, but have also been shown to help reduce or prevent children's involvement in juvenile crime or other at-risk behavior. The City of St. Louis Department of Human Services - Youth and Family Services Division is pleased to sponsor this program. Free snack and supper meals may be provided to youth 1-18 years of age who are enrolled in qualified after school programs. Meal service will operate during the academic school year.


Any public or private nonprofit organization providing after school programs may be eligible. Such institutions may include recreation centers, after school programs, latchkey programs, and institutions providing day care service for handicapped children. The Site may not discriminate; each enrolled child must be served regardless of race, color, handicap, or national origin.

The following information is required for sites to qualify as an After School At-Risk Program:

  1. The site must qualify as an enrichment program. Enrichment programs may include tutoring, mentoring, cultural, music, dance, art, and life skills. Sites that provide sports must allow all children to participate.
  2. Each site must provide a health sanitation inspection and a fire safety inspection to meet approval guidelines.
  3. The Site must be located in an area where at least fifty percent of the children in the nearest school qualify for free or reduced lunches.

Was this page helpful?      

Comments are helpful!
500 character limit

Feedback is anonymous.