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Interim Rule: Emergency Shelters

Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin

To: Child and Adult Care Food Program - Emergency Shelters

Number: 06-210

Attention: Food Program Director

Date: March 2006

Subject: Interim Rule: Emergency Shelters

Reference: United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Interim Rule, Federal Register, Vol.71, No. 1, January 3, 2006

This Management Bulletin provides updated guidance to emergency shelters regarding age limits and residents with disabilities. The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) defines an emergency shelter as a public or private nonprofit organization or site that provides temporary shelter and food services to homeless children.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued an interim rule that clarifies a provision of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-265). The reauthorization provision allowed emergency shelters participating in the CACFP to claim reimbursement for the meals served to residents 18 years of age or younger and residents of any age with disabilities. The Nutrition Services Division (NSD) issued Reauthorization Information Sheet #12 in September 2004 to inform shelters of these program changes.

With the interim rule, effective February 2, 2006, an emergency shelter may claim reimbursement for the meals served to residents who are 18 years of age or younger as stated in Information Sheet #12. The shelter may also claim reimbursement for the meals served to residents of any age with mental or physical handicaps, provided that the shelter serves a majority of residents 18 years of age or younger. Information Sheet #12 (i.e. previous information from USDA) did not contain this claiming restriction, suggesting instead that an unlimited number of residents with disabilities of any age could be claimed for meal reimbursement.

We have attached two forms, Emergency Shelter Daily Roster and Meal Count and Emergency Shelter Monthly Roster to Document Eligibility of Adults with Disabilities. The daily roster and meal count form should be used to record the meals served to the eligible shelter residents, while the monthly roster form should be used to document that adults with disabilities may be served and claimed per the interim rule.

Shelters should use the definition of a disability taken from the Americans with Disabilities Act, which defines a disability as one of the following:

  1. A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of an individual;
  2. A record of such impairment; or
  3. Being regarded as having such an impairment.

The interim rule for emergency shelters may be found on the USDA Web site at [Note, the preceding Web address is no longer valid.]

If you have any questions regarding these interim rule changes, please contact the CACFP specialist assigned to your agency in the Child Nutrition Information Payment System (CNIPS). You will find a list of contact information for specialists in the Download Forms section of the CNIPS. You may also contact the Help Desk by phone at 800-952-5609, option 6.


  1. Emergency Shelter Monthly Roster at
  2. Emergency Shelter Daily Roster at
Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, October 11, 2016
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