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Food program to provide meals at more than 1K Ill. child care centers

Program assists child care centers, Head Start programs, before and after school programs, shelters and day care home providers with funding
Child care workers play with children. (Credit: Alicia Naspretto, KSNB)
Child care workers play with children. (Credit: Alicia Naspretto, KSNB)(KSNB)
Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 11:27 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WIFR) -

Funding is now available for the Child and Adult Care Food Program from the Illinois State Board of Education.

The program assists child care centers, Head Start programs, before and after school programs, emergency shelters, and day care home providers with funding to serve meals to children. All participating child care centers must provide meals to enrolled children at no additional cost. Funding for the CACFP comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Individuals in households who participate in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program 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, according to the Illinois State Board of Education.

If a household’s income falls within or below the listed guidelines, a member of the household should contact their child care center or day care home provider to learn about benefits of the CACFP. 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, according to the Illinois State Board of Education.

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