Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin
|Purpose: Policy, Action Required, Beneficial Information|
|To: Child and Adult Care Food Program Day Care Home Sponsors, and Summer Food Service Program Sponsors||Number: USDA-CACFP-09-2013
|Attention: Food Program Directors||Date: July 2013|
|Subject: Eligibility Based on Census Data|
|Reference: U.S. Department of Agriculture Policy Memo CACFP 06-2013, SFSP 11-2013; Title 42, United States Code sections 1761 and 1766|
|Supersedes: Management Bulletin USDA-CACFP-08-2012 and USDA-SFSP-05-2012|
This Management Bulletin (MB) provides updated guidance on the use of census data for area eligibility determinations in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Sponsors must use the most recent Census Block Groups (CBG) data to assess eligibility for the CACFP and the SFSP. The 2013 data and instructions are now available in the Download Forms section of the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS). The Nutrition Services Division (NSD) will notify CACFP day care home (DCH) sponsors and SFSP sponsors each year by e-mail when new data is available.
Previously, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service, allowed the use of 10-year census data to determine eligibility for both CACFP DCH and SFSP sites (42 United States Code, sections 1766[f][A][ii] and 1761[a][A][i]).
In 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau began an annual process to estimate household income using the American Community Survey (ACS). This ongoing survey generates more accurate community census information than the census collected every 10 years. The first five-year estimates from the ACS were released in 2009 and are considered the most reliable and precise, especially for small CBGs. For each group, the U.S. Census Bureau developed Geographic Identifier codes (GEOID).
Current Eligibility Policy
Effective April 2012, USDA policy mandates that CACFP DCHs and SFSP sites that establish eligibility using census data use the most recent data available (Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, sections 226.6[f] and 225.6[c]).
If the data indicates that 50 percent or more of the children in a CBG are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals, the SFSP site is eligible for participation and the DCH site is eligible for participation as a Tier I DCH provider. Site eligibility determination based on census data is now effective for five years to reduce the administrative burden.
Sponsors must annually inform Tier II DCH providers that they may request reclassification to Tier I when the new annual census data becomes available. A DCH provider, previously qualified as Tier II, may qualify for reclassification as Tier I if new CBG data indicates an increased percentage of eligible children. The DCH sponsor must select “Census (Area Eligible)” in item ‘G2’ of the CNIPS provider application. The DCH sponsor must pay the higher rate of reimbursement to the provider for a total of five years, beginning the first day of the current month. The DCH sponsor is not authorized to approve retroactive reimbursement at the higher Tier I rates for any previous months.
Instructions for Determining Program Eligibility
Sponsors may use one of two different tools to determine eligibility using the current census data:
- The Food Research and Action Center Map: Sponsors use the address search function in this map, which returns eligibility information as well as other demographics.
- The Census Bureau tools: Sponsors must look up the GEOID for a provider’s address and use the CBG Excel files to determine whether the GEOID is located in an area eligible CBG.
Instructions for using these tools to determine CACFP DCH or SFSP site eligibility based on the most recent census data are located in the Download Forms section of the CNIPS. The CBG Excel Spreadsheet containing the most recent census data is also located in the Download Forms section of the CNIPS.
If you have any questions regarding this MB, please contact the Specialist for your program.
CACFP: The CACFP Specialist Contact List is located in the CNIPS Download Forms section, form #CACFP 01, or on the California Department of Education CACFP Contact List Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/cc/cacfpcontact.asp. You can also contact Nancy Charpentier, CACFP Unit Office Technician, by phone at 916-327-2991 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
SFSP: The SFSP Specialist Contact List is located in the CNIPS Download Forms section, form #SFSP 01. You may also contact Tanya McCrae, SFSP Unit Office Technician, by phone at 916-322-8323 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.