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RCCI Snack Program Eligibility

Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin

To: Residential Child Care Institutions, Juvenile Detention Centers, California Youth Authority, Boarding Schools

Number: 99-114

Attention: Administrator

Date: November 1999

From: School Nutrition Programs Unit

Subject: Snack Program Eligibility for Residential Child Care Institutions (RCCIs)

Reference: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) all points bulletin (APB) SP-99-4, January 14, 1999; USDA APB SP-99-21, August 23, 1999

This Management Bulletin transmits information regarding the after-school snack program for Residential Child Care Institutions (RCCI). Effective retroactively to October 1, 1998, RCCIs operating an eligible after-school care enrichment program may now participate in the Meal Supplement (Snacks) component of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). This expanded access to after-school snacks also applies to juvenile halls, California Youth Authority facilities, and boarding schools that have developed eligible programs. Residential, as well as nonresidential, children who attend an eligible after-school care program may participate in the after-school snack program.

To be eligible, after-school programs operated by RCCIs must meet all of the following criteria:

  • The purpose of the program must be to provide care in an after-school setting.
  • The program must include education or enrichment activities.
  • An RCCI participating in the NSLP must operate the after-school care program. The after-school care program cannot be operated by another agency.

The meal supplement provision applies only to programs that provide care and enrichment activities for children after their school day has ended.

Content of Meals

Snacks must meet the meal pattern requirements for meal supplements set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR) Section 210.10(n) (see Attachment 1). Portion sizes for children ages 13 through 18 shall be no less than those stipulated for children ages 6 through 12. USDA recommends that older children (ages 13 through 18) be offered larger portions to meet their increased food energy requirements.


RCCIs may claim reimbursement for one snack per child per day. Children are eligible to participate through age 18. If a child turns 19 during the school year, reimbursement may be claimed for that child’s snacks during the remainder of the school year. RCCIs may also claim reimbursement for snacks served to individuals, regardless of age, who are determined to be mentally or physically disabled who are participating in a school program established for the mentally or physically handicapped. Snacks may not be reimbursed in programs operated before or during the child’s school day, on weekends, on holidays, or during vacation periods.

RCCIs that are already serving snacks meeting the meal pattern requirements and have been properly counting these meals may claim reimbursement retroactively. RCCIs must have all of the proper documentation to claim retroactive reimbursement. Required documentation includes: menus; menu production worksheets; daily point of service meal counts; and a sign-in roster for those children who participated in the after-school program. If your agency does not have these records, then you may not claim retroactive reimbursement.

RCCIs have until December 31, 1999, to submit claims for snacks served between October 1, 1998, and July 31, 1999. All claims for retroactive reimbursement must be submitted as adjusted claims to the lunch and breakfast claims that have already been submitted. For instructions, refer to the attached Claiming Instructions for Retroactive Reimbursement of Snacks (Attachment 4).

Determining Children's Eligibility

RCCIs participating in the school nutrition programs must determine each child's eligibility for a free or reduced price snack just as they do for the breakfast and lunch, unless they meet area eligibility for free snacks (see below). The following are general rules about children's eligibility:

  • Institutionalized children - Any child who resides in an RCCI is considered a household of one, and her or his income usually falls within the free eligibility scale. For this reason, all meals and snacks served to institutionalized children may be claimed in the free category. However, if the income received by an institutionalized child exceeds the free limit for a household of one, all meals and snacks served to the child must be claimed in the appropriate category, either reduced price or paid. RCCIs must maintain records of each child's income to support the claiming of meals and snacks in the free category.
  • Day students - Often, an RCCI will also operate a nonpublic school. When the nonpublic school accepts day students, the eligibility of each day student must be determined according to the size and income of the household in which she or he resides. Although the agency provides meals and snacks to students at no charge, all meals and snacks served to day students must be claimed in the appropriate category (i.e., free, reduced price, or paid). RCCIs that operate a nonpublic school and accept day students may obtain a copy of the Application for Free and Reduced Price Meals by calling your School Nutrition Programs analyst.
Area Eligibility

An agency may claim reimbursement in the free category, without regard to the eligibility status of each child, for all snacks served if 50 percent or more of the enrolled children are eligible for free or reduced price lunches. If the program does not meet this criterion, it may use the eligibility of a public school within its attendance area that meets this criterion. Most programs operated by an RCCI qualify to claim reimbursement at the free rate for all snacks.


At a minimum, RCCIs participating under this provision must maintain the following records:

  • Meal counts (total snacks served each day);
  • Documentation of each child’s attendance at the after-school program on a daily basis;
  • Documentation of compliance with the meal pattern requirements; menus and menu production records for each snack served are required; and
  • Separate records of the number of snacks served at area-eligible sites versus nonarea-eligible sites.

As with all school nutrition programs records, these records must be maintained for a minimum of three years. In the event of an audit, the records may be required to be retained beyond the three-year limit until all audit issues have been resolved.

The Nutrition Services Division will send a revision to Section 2400 of the School Nutrition Programs Guidance Manual addressing after-school snacks as soon as it is completed.

To apply, please contact your School Nutrition Programs (SNP) county specialist. The SNP county specialist list is available in the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS) Download Forms section, Form ID Caseload. You may also contact the SNP Office Technician by phone at 916-322-1450 (The preceding information is no longer valid) email at to be directed to your SNP county specialist.

Attachments are no longer available.

Questions:   School Nutrition Programs Unit | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, April 3, 2024
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