Policy Memo 138

DOH-CACFP: Number 138 (02/10)

TO: All CACFP Sponsoring Organizations

FROM: Lynne Oudekerk, Acting State Director, Child and Adult Care Food Program

SUBJECT: Eligibility of Haitian Refugees for CACFP

I. Purpose and Scope

USDA has issued guidance about the eligibility of children who were evacuated to the United States as result of the earthquake in Haiti. The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) does not require lawful presence in the United States prior to receiving benefits and refugee children are eligible for meal benefits if they enroll in a participating facility. While this memo refers to children, it also pertains to adult refugees who are enrolled in participating adult day care programs.

II. Background Information

  1. Determining Eligibility for CACFP
    1. CACFP Sponsors that require eligibility information can receive certification of the child's homeless status from the agency that assisted with the evacuation or is providing shelter. If the child is not residing in an emergency shelter, an adult living with the child can complete an income eligibility form indicating that the child is homeless. No further information is needed to certify that child's eligibility to be claimed in the free reimbursement category.
  2. Determining Eligibility for Host Families
    1. A child or family may temporarily reside with another household and still be considered homeless under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. In these cases the household size and income of the host family is not taken into consideration in determining the meal eligibility for the child(ren) designated as homeless.

      Additionally, when a host family applies for free and reduced-price meals for their own children, the host family may include the homeless family as household members if the host family provides financial support to the homeless family, such as shelter, utilities, clothing or food. In such cases, the host family must also include any income received by the homeless family. The CACFP Sponsor determines eligibility for the host family in the traditional manner. However, free meal eligibility for the homeless child is based on the documentation provided by the homeless liaison or other source, even when the child is included on the host family's free and reduced-price meal application.

III. Summary of Changes

Sponsoring Organizations should contact CACFP at 1-800-942-3858 if they have any questions about the eligibility of Haitian refugees in CACFP.