Food program provides millions of meals to children and older adults


NASHVILLE –The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and eligible agencies across the state provide meals to children and adults through the Child and Adult Care Food Program, or CACFP. The CACFP is a federally funded program that provides reimbursement for eligible meals that are served to participants who meet age and income requirements. Meals are available to all participants without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.


Availability of the program ensures children and older adults retain access to consistent, nutritious meals at eligible CACFP organizations including: licensed child care centers, Head Start programs, emergency shelters providing residential and food services to homeless children, family child care homes, qualifying child care centers, after-school programs and adult day care centers.


“The Child and Adult Care Food Program works behind the scenes and the program could not be successful without the help of our sponsors. More than 46 million meals were served across the state last year, directly reaching those who need it most,” said TDHS Commissioner Danielle W. Barnes. “Studies show that children who have access to nutritious foods are better prepared to learn and grow and older adults with regular access to nutritious foods are healthier across their lifespan.”


According to the Centers for Disease Control, healthy eating can help maintain healthy body weight and reduce the risk of developing health conditions. For children, healthy eating has been associated with improved cognitive function and reduced absenteeism.


To learn more about the CACFP visit or


Agencies who may be interested in CACFP are encouraged to attend training sessions hosted by the Department of Human Services. For more information email or call (615) 313-4749.


A list of current CACFP providers is available at:



Income Eligibility Guidelines:

Reduced Price Meals

Household Size Annual Monthly Twice Per Month Every Two Weeks Weeks
1 22,311 1,860 930 859 430
2 30,044 2,504 1,252 1,156 578
3 37,777 3,149 1,575 1,453 727
4 45,510 3,793 1,897 1,751 876
5 53,243 4,437 2,219 2,048 1,024
6 60,976 5,082 2,541 2,346 1,173
7 68,709 5,726 2,863 2,643 1,322
8 76,442 6,371 3,186 2,941 1,471
For each add’l family member, add + 7,733 + 645 + 323 + 298 + 149


Free Meals

Household Size Annual Monthly Twice Per Month Every Two Weeks Weeks
1 15,678 1,307 654 603 302
2 21,112 1,760 880 812 406
3 26,546 2,213 1,107 1,021 511
4 31,980 2,665 1,333 1,230 615
5 37,414 3,118 1,559 1,439 720
6 42,848 3,571 1,786 1,648 824
7 48,282 4,024 2,012 1,857 929
8 53,716 4,477 2,239 2,066 1,033
For each add’l family member, add + 5,434 + 453 + 227 + 209 + 105

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.


Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: This institution is an equal opportunity provider.