Child and Adult Care Food Program to provide families access to healthy meals

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today announced the availability of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for the fiscal year 2019. CACFP is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by ISBE as part of a suite of programs to provide children and families access to healthy meals.

CACFP assists child care centers, Head Start programs, before- and after-school programs, emergency shelters, and day care home providers with funding to provide nutritious meals to children in their care. All participating child care centers and day care homes must provide meals to enrolled children at no additional charge.

“The Child and Adult Care Food Program ensures children in daycare and after-school programs who may not otherwise have regular access to healthy food are getting the proper nutrition they need to fuel their developing bodies and brains,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “More than one in 10 people in Illinois, a third of them children, are food insecure. Physical health and nutrition affect our ability to learn, focus, and grow. ISBE is proud to administer nutrition programs that help ensure all children have what they need to thrive.”

In 2016, more than 1.4 million people in Illinois were food insecure, including nearly half a million children, according to Feeding America.

Individuals in households who participate in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or the Supplemental Nutrition Assitance Program (SNAP) are automatically eligible to receive free meal benefits. The USDA Household Income eligibility guidelines determine eligibility to receive free meal benefits for families that do not receive TANF or SNAP benefits. If a household’s income falls within or below the listed guidelines, they should contact their child care center or day care home provider to learn about benefits of the Child and Adult Care Food Program. They may be required to complete an application and provide income, TANF, or SNAP information.

Children enrolled in Head Start or Early Head Start programs at approved Head Start facilities and foster care children who are legal responsibilities of the state or court also receive free meal benefits. Parents or guardians should contact their child care center or day care home provider to find out if they participate in CACFP.

Income Eligibility Guidelines Effective from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019


 Free Meals Reduced-Price Meals 130% Federal Poverty Guideline 185% Federal Poverty GuidelineHousehold Size Annual Monthly Twice Per Month Every Two Weeks Weekly Household Size Annual Monthly Twice Per Month Every Two Weeks Weekly1 15,782 1,316 658 607 304 1 22,459 1,872 936 864 4322 21,398 1,784 892 823 412 2 30,451 2,538 1,269 1,172 5863 27,014 2,252 1,126 1,039 520 3 38,443 3,204 1,602 1,479 7404 32,630 2,720 1,360 1,255 628 4 46,435 3,870 1,935 1,786 8935 38,246 3,188 1,594 1,471 736 5 54,427 4,536 2,268 2,094 1,0476 43,862 3,656 1,828 1,687 844 6 62,419 5,202 2,601 2,401 1,2017 49,478 4,124 2,062 1,903 952 7 70,411 5,868 2,934 2,709 1,3558 55,094 4,592 2,296 2,119 1,060 8 78,403 6,534 3,267 3,016 1,508For each additional family member, add 5,616 468 234 216 108 For each additional family member, add 7,992 666 333 308 154

Civil Rights Non-Discrimination Statement

In accordance with federal civil rights law and 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 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:
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